Tennessee State sprinter Wilma Rudolph winning the 100 yard dash at the Penn Relays, August 17, 1959.
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Three runners are shown heading for the finish line. The lead runner, arms outstretched, wins the race. Spectators watch from the sidelines.

Credit: Courtesy of the John Mosley Collection, Courtesy Charles L. Blockson Afro American Collection, Temple University

The largest and longest-running track meet in the world, the Penn Relays have been racially integrated since the running of the first races in 1895. In the 1950s and 1960s, the pride of African American spectators spilled over into an enormous block party that floated through Philadelphia's black communities on carnival weekends. At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Wilma Rudolph would win three gold medals, in the 100 m, 200 m, and the 4 x 100 m relay.

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