THIS IS NOT A MOMENT.
BUT A MOVEMENT. 47 YEARS
October 16th marks the 47th anniversary of the famous silent protest held at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Tommie Smith, myself along with Australian sprinter Peter Norman, will forever be linked in one of the most memorable, iconic, sports moment in history. Surprisingly, many people are still not familiar with any of our names. Ironically, one only needs to raise one hand in the air with a clenched fist to get a reaction which instantly triggers an individual to remember our stand and that memorable moment.
Gestures and symbols have always been the best way to universally connect and unify people. The raising of the hand with a clenched fist was nothing new during this time. During the Civil Rights Movement it became a powerful iconic gesture for the empowerment and unification of blacks throughout the United States. Elsewhere around the world and throughout the ages this gesture took on a different meaning commonly used in times of oppression and in protest against injustices.
Sadly, many people misinterpreted our silent protest as a protest for “Black Power”, rather than a protest for human rights for ALL people throughout the world. For a few seconds, , Tommie, Peter, and I stood side by side not as an American, Australian, black nor white athlete, but as human beings united in one cause.
The same train of thought and interpretation can be applied to the Million Man March which celebrated it's 20th anniversary in D.C this past Saturday. The original march which was ironically also held on October 16th in 1995, brought approximately 800,000 black men to Washington united to improving their lives, social status and community. A peaceful protest which initially restricted women, whites and other minorities from attending, has now progressed to welcome all. TO READ MORE CLICK HERE
RESPECT THE NAMES.
J OHN CARLOS may not be a name you immediately recognize– but his political demonstration at the 1968 Mexico Olympics has become one of the world’s most instantly recognizable and iconic images of all time.
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