Right On!

40 years ago today, athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos made news, and one of the most powerful political statements by any Olympic athlete, with their famous, silent black power salute at the 1968 Mexico City Games.

“For insight, NPR’s Tony Cox speaks with David Steele, a sports writer for the Baltimore Sun and co-author of Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith.”

The original New York Times article on this event makes interesting and provocative reading with the changes in perspective since, while Wikipedia offers a useful overview of the event and its aftermath.

It may just be me, but I still find this image incredibly powerful and moving – but also a bit depressing as it seems so very distant – a gesture of solidarity and resistance, a moment of defiance from a movement that is now lost, a historical curiosity, even as American edges closer to the real possibility of electing a black president.


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