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The Olympian: An American Triumph
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The Olympian: An American Triumph

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  14 ratings  ·  6 reviews
"I dare greatly, and I shall live my life as no ordinary man bound by a game of chance. " -John Baxter Taylor Jr. Running is his sacred ritual. As his legs gracefully carry him around the track at the University of Pennsylvania, he feels the wind in his face and freedom at his back. It is 1905, and John Baxter Taylor Jr. is three years away from representing the United Sta ...more
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Published November 17th 2010 by iUniverse (first published October 25th 2010)
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This novelization--told in the first person--of the first African American Olympic gold medal winner, John Baxter Taylor Jr. is a stirring read, and a look at the United States of just over 100 years ago. John is always confident of his athletic talents, and of his intellectual ability to compete with his peers at the University of Pennsylvania, but the playing field is far from level, especially when a bigoted teammate accuses him of cheating. He must deal not only with the white world's unfair ...more
Shante Timberlale
This was a great story and easy read. What is interesting is that I had never heard of John Baxter Taylor. I always thought the first Black Olympic Gold Medalist was Jesse Owens. John lived such an extraordinary life for that time period. You rarely hear about men and when at the turn of the century being well educated and from a middle class upbringing. I loved the fact that this was not just a story about an African American, but it is an American story.
Against All Odds

Craig T.Williams surely gave me a black history lesson. We all know about Jesse Owen's Olympic career. But how many of us know about John Baxter Taylor, Jr.?

Readers are taken to a time where the black man was not expected to achieve, let alone, their dreams. John Taylor, Jr. went against the odds. He overcame numerous obstacles to achieve greatness.

I was so disappointed when John withdrew from school. I was expecting a little more fight. He had to hit rock bottom in order to ge
African Americans on the Move Book Club
Williams is triumphant in delivering the untold story of the first African American Olympic Gold Medalist. The story of John Baxter Taylor is intriguing and infused with love and disappointment. Taylor obliterated barriers on and off the track with his intellect and athleticism. Williams carefully penned this compelling story that gives a glimpse in the life of this unknown hero. However, there were times when more introspective thought would have captured the reader. For example, as Taylor’s he ...more
Dr Author Wright, AA, AS, BS, MinB, MS, MinM, PhD, MinD, ThD
“The Olympian: An American Triumph” by Craig T. Williams is a tactfully written, soberly reminder of the difficulties of the early 20th century for African Americans, particularly, American males. This story is told in a diplomatic style. However, it cleverly paints a real life picture of a journey that many blacks traveled when walking alone while attempting to achieve an uncommon goal during those dark days of American history. Indeed, it vividly pointed out the road blocks that blocked John B ...more
I think I might have rated this a 3 or even 4 if it had been advertised as targeted to middle schoolers, but the characters are cardboard, the discussion of race relations is superficial, and overall it is hard to believe that anyone could be so highminded and noble, in thought and word, all the time. The thinking about how to run races is interesting, and seems to reflect a knowledge of sprinting.
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