Upcoming 2024 Olympic Sports Documentary
Producer: Frank Shines-Stroud Executive Director: Ralph-Michael Giordano
Assistant Director: Mike Pach Cinematographer: Kyle Hanchett
Dolphus & Tandy Stroud
A Legacy Rises from a Texas Plantation
Running to Harvard chronicles the untold, true Olympic story
of Dolphus and Tandy Stroud, two scholar-athletes whose father
was born and raised on a Texas plantation, and the legacy
of a pioneering family’s impact on a nation.
University of Denver Stadium, June 23, 1928
Rocky Mountain Olympic Track & Field Tryouts
Image of Shoes: Courtesy of Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
“Great Black Hope of the Rockies”
We the assembled
Of rocks and snow
Sunshine and cattle
With spirit eternal
we line streets
On a summer day
sun on our face
Here is where we see what the body can do
What it can achieve — good, honest and true
With his cheap shoes
He must be more
Something other than the others
A special project of God
Not like his sad brothers
We’ll never accept him
Or give him our trust
But first place is first place
and now He represents us
“Running to Harvard”
My name is Frank Shines (Stroud), and I am the executive producer of “Running to Harvard,” directed by Ralph-Michael Giordano and Mike Pach, and cinematographer, Kyle Hanchette. We are honored to unveil an inspiring and untold true story, with your invaluable assistance.
I’ve had the privilege of flying military jets, training and competing alongside Olympic athletes, and receiving a Presidential appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where my family set down roots in the 1910. It was here through my great-aunt Lu Lu (Lu Lu Pollard Park) and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum that I began to uncover my family’s pioneering accomplishments in academia, public service, business, sports, the arts, and science. For example, my great-uncle Jack Stroud was a “Hidden Figures” scientist responsible for the formula that returned our astronauts safely to earth during the Apollo moon missions.
My great grandfather, Rev. K.D. Stroud, spent his early life on a Texas slave plantation. In the face of this adversity, he and his wife, Lulu Magee of the Creek Nation, envisioned a better future for their children.
Two of K.D.’s sons, my grandfather Tandy and his older brother Dolphus, stood out as exceptional scholar-athletes with Olympic dreams. My great-uncle Dolphus was a recognized Phi Beta Kappa scholar-athlete. Although he clinched victory in the 1928 Rocky Mountain Region Olympic Trials, earning his place in the 1928 national Olympic Trials at Harvard Stadium, he was unjustly denied funding for travel and a seat on the train alongside his white counterparts.
Nevertheless, Dolphus remained resolute. Displaying humility and courage, he embarked on a 2,000-mile journey by foot from Colorado to Cambridge. His trek occurred in the racially charged 1920s, an era when Black men faced the grim prospect of lynching. Risking life and limb, Dolphus walked, ran, and hitchhiked across the country for a chance to compete in the 1928 Olympics. After nearly twelve days and a mere six hours before the start of his 5K race, Dolphus finally reached the bank of the Charles River. The documentary “Running to Harvard” is dedicated to narrating this remarkable journey and the family and community that supported him.