The 1968 Olympics Black Power Salute: African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists in a gesture of solidarity at the 1968 Olympic games. Australian Silver medalist Peter Norman wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in support of their protest. Both Americans were expelled from the games as a result.
Today marks the first day of the Olympics in Sochi, and many nations have come together to try and fight the injustice of Russia’s prejudice against the LGBT community. But this is not the first time something like this has happened. Some of you may recognize this from the 1968 Summer Olympics : You may know this as the Black Power salute, but it was more than just that. It was a human rights salute, and it is one of the most overtly political statements of the Olympic games.
First place went to American Tommie Smith, second went to Australian Peter Norman, and third went to John Carlos. Everything about their walk and standing at the podium is symbolic. Smith and Carlos received their medals without shoes, just wearing black socks, to represent black poverty. Smith wore a black scarf to represent black pride. Carlos has his track suit unzipped to show his solidarity with all blue collar workers, and a bead necklace to represent all that were lynched, or killed and no one said a prayer for them, for those who were hung and tarred.
All three wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge, Norman wore it for solidarity with them as he was protesting Australian immigration policies.
JUST A FEW REMINDERS OF WHAT REAL PROTESTS LOOK LIKE
AIM (American Indian Movement) occupies the headquarters of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC
BLA (Black Liberation Army) rally to protest the imprisonment of Dessie Woods
SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) members and supporters RALLY INSIDE A JAILHOUSE they were being booked into
MOVE (Christian Movement for Life) member rally to protest the wholesale murders of most of their members by the Philly PD
DFD (Deacons for Defense) rally, Louisiana
BPP (Black Panther Party) members occupy the State Capitol in California to protest pending gun control legislation
ATHLETES JOHN SMITH AND TOMMY CARLOS raise the Black Power salute at the 1968 Summer Olympic games
Y'all reblog the shit out of images like these during February… but then when people criticize that weak shit the Clippers called a “protest,” y'all start whining about ‘shaming’ and 'being divisive’ and blah blah blah.
You CANNOT be a PoC in white supremacist North America who will only consider protesting injustice in ways that will not anger your oppressor or disrupt the little creature comforts you’re used to and expect to be taken seriously.
If ANYTHING about this post inspires you to offer a rebuttal… don’t waste the keystrokes; DO quit following this blog. Then go kick rocks. If you would object to any of the above, you weren’t going to put any of the info you find on blackourstory to good use anyway. I’m not spending my valuable time and expertise creating and reblogging select content here AND THEN ALSO justifying or debating about it with the milquetoast and benighted.
From the 1968 Olympics Black Power Salute to the 2014 Hands Up
5 St. Louis Rams’ raised their hands in black solidarity to cryout for America to finally see black lives as human. From 1968 to 2014, from lynchings to police sanctioned killings, the state of America has not changed much since.