“Heroes from the Margins: Stories of Athletes who challenged  Racism 
at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” 

speech delivered by Chinyere G. Okafor at
Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, Wichita KS, 2008

I spoke about the oppression of Africans,  Jews, the Sinti and Roma, by Hitler’s regime before focusing on the stories of particular athletes that challenged racism. I used the following poems in my conclusion:

by Chinyere G. Okafor


  The accolade that you got for yourself is not what matters.

  The trophy that decorates your house is not what matters.

         In the end:

         What matters is the MEMORY of YOU in our hearts.


  People remember who made a difference.


  Who stood up for human dignity.

  Who ignored the general flow and risked being

   berated, shunned, and labeled “unpopular.”

  Who stood up at crisis time, even at great cost.


People remember THE HERO

The world needs YOU at this time.



Poem by  Pastor Martin Niemöller

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.


Page title: Heroes from the Margins
Last update: November 12, 2009
Web page by C. G. Okafor
Copywright © Chinyere G. Okafor