Tommie Smith and John Carlos extending black gloved fists skyward during the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City remains a moment etched in US history…….Black History.
Jacques Esterel’s French Olympic Uniforms in 1968.
models, wearing the new uniforms of the French Olympic team for the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico, walking along a street in Paris with French fashion designer Jacques Esterel, who designed the uniforms, in August 1968.
stained-glass ceiling of the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico. This
1899 upmarket department store with a soaring Tiffany stained-glass ceiling in
the lobby was transformed into a luxury hotel in anticipation of the 1968
Olympic Games. The ceiling, which evokes the country’s Mesoamerican heritage
with a lively palette of turquoise and gold, was designed by French artisan
Jacques Gruber and also features a Louis XV–style chandelier. Photograph: Robert
Harding Picture Library Ltd/Alamy, source: lifebuzz.com and architecturaldigest.com.
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.
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.
i’d also like to make mention of a story i only learned about a few weeks ago: the black power salute made by american gold and bronze medalists tommie smith and john carlos during the 200m dash medal ceremony at the 1968 mexico city olympics.
smith, who won gold with a world-record time of 19.83 seconds, and carlos accepted their medals shoeless, wearing only black socks, to represent black poverty in the united states. smith wore a black scarf to symbolize black pride, and carlos wore a string of beads in memory of victims of racially-motivated killings. they both wore one black glove. during the playing of the national anthem, smith and carlos bowed their heads and raised their gloved fists, to the resounding boos of the crowd.
tommie smith later said of the event:
If I win, I am American, not a black American. But if I did something bad, then they would say I am a Negro. We are black and we are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did tonight.
the (incredibly racist nazi sympathizer) head of the international olympic committee, avery brundage, responded by banning smith and carlos from the olympic village. the us olympic committee protested but folded under threats of the banning of the entire us track team. brundage believed it was a political statement unfit for the “apolitical” nature of the olympics. brundage also had no problem with nazi salutes during the berlin olympics. big surprise there.
america wasn’t particularly thrilled with smith and carlos either. time magazine ran an issue with a cover featuring the olympic rings and the caption “angrier, nastier, uglier” (mocking the slogan “faster, higher, stronger”). smith and carlos’ families received death threats.
we (hopefully) remember them now as they deserve to be remembered: as heroes brave enough to use their sudden fame to make a stand for what they believed in, two proud people unwilling to shut up and gloss over their community’s suffering in order to look good on the global stage.
there is a statue commemorating the incident at san jose state university, both of the athletes’ alma mater.
also worth noting, an example of how to be a good ally: prior to the ceremony, smith and carlos told the silver medalist, australian peter norman, their plans. they told him their reasons. he gave them his support, answering that he believed in human rights. carlos stated later that he expected to see fear in norman’s eyes, but instead, “saw love.” norman did not participate in the salute but joined smith and carlos in wearing a badge for their cause, the olympic project for human rights. norman was ostracized by the media and banned from competitive track and field for two years; australia also chose not to send any male sprinters to the 1972 olympic games rather than send norman, who qualified thirteen times during 1972. he died in 2006; smith and carlos were pallbearers and delivered eulogies at his funeral.
ALEX GALLARDO/REUTERS Two black U.S. medalists who were expelled from the 1968 Olympic Games for staging a protest on the podium have been invited to the White House. Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two men featured in the iconic photo with their raised-fist protest at the Mexico City Games, have been invited by the U.S. Olympic Committee to attend a White House gala and meet President Barack…