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Olympic Pride, American Prejudice unites relatives of 1936 African American Olympic heroes at Chicago shoot

The Olympic Pride, American Prejudice Chicago shoot captured more than just never-before-heard interviews with the families of three of the African American Olympians who lived in Chicago.  The shoot proved to be the first-ever meeting of the families of 1936 Gold and Silver medalist Ralph Metcalfe, 1936 Olympian and first black woman to compete for the USA, Tydie Pickett, and 1936 Olympian John Brooks.  The three families by chance were on the set at the same time. Ralph Metcalfe, Jr. was interviewed first and decided to stay to meet Bernita Echols and Faye Walker.  The senior Metcalfe had been friends with Tydie Pickett, mother of Bernita and Faye and spoke of her to Metcalfe, Jr.

family photo of  three forgotten African American Olympians
photo families of three forgotten African American Olympians


Dr. Daria Brooks Terrell, a Chicago Orthopedic Surgeon, and daughter of John Brooks, arrived with her mother Wannetta Brooks before Ralph, Faye and Bernita departed.  The moment was magical, profound and heartfelt and certainly one that harkened back to the moment when their relatives joined each other on the deck of the U.S.S. Manhattan, unknowingly about to change history.


The daughters of Tydie Pickett had never met Daria, but they knew John Brooks was instrumental in Tydie Pickett’s career and decision to go the Olympic Trials in 1936.  After hugs, tears and lots of reminiscing, they exchanged numbers and planned to keep in touch.  Of course, they all look forward to seeing each other at the premiere of Olympic Pride, American Prejudice!

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