I’ve never seen a GIF of this.
I was just reading about this during a wiki binge on Olympics incidents and did a little research on it. I never knew how deep the message was that Smith and Carlos were trying to send. Just about everything they wore and how they wore it had symbolism attached to it. (unzipped tracksuits for solidarity with blue collar workers, necklace of beads for lynching victims, etc) Calling it a “black power salute” is really reductive and it’s a shame (and predictable) that if it’s taught at all, that’s what it’s boiled down to.
Another thing I didn’t know: the Australian guy who came in second wore a patch for solidarity with them, he was protesting racist Australian immigration policies. When he passed away, Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral.
Don’t know what this is referring to? Here you go.
This is really powerful.
Wow, I had no idea about the solidarity patch.
This is still so powerful to watch.
(fyi Australian guy’s name is Peter Norman, he was banned from competing internationally for Australia after this, because our government can be a real sack of dicks sometimes)
I had no idea there was so much going on here. It’s fascinating. According to the Wiki article:
The two U.S. athletes received their medals shoeless, but wearing black socks, to represent black poverty. Smith wore a black scarf around his neck to represent black pride, Carlos had his tracksuit top unzipped to show solidarity with all blue collar workers in the U.S. and wore a necklace of beads which he described “were for those individuals that were lynched, or killed and that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. It was for those thrown off the side of the boats in the middle passage.” All three athletes wore Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badges after Norman, a critic of Australia’s White Australia Policy, expressed empathy with their ideals. Sociologist Harry Edwards, the founder of the OPHR, had urged black athletes to boycott the games; reportedly, the actions of Smith and Carlos on 16 October 1968 were inspired by Edwards’ arguments. Both U.S. athletes intended on bringing black gloves to the event, but Carlos forgot his…It was…Peter Norman, who suggested Carlos wear Smith’s left-handed glove, this being the reason behind him raising his left hand…differing from the traditional Black Power salute. When “The Star-Spangled Banner” played, Smith and Carlos delivered the salute with heads bowed, a gesture which became front page news around the world. As they left the podium they were booed by the crowd. Smith later said “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.
(Source: bloggingisnotwriting, via kalemason)