Their "black power salute" during the playing of the American national anthem was a silent protest by the athletes against racial injustice. Their actions were seen as a controversial act, combining sports and politics. To understand why the athletes felt they needed to make a statement, it's important to understand the times in which the men acted.
A beautiful lapel pin crafted in the shape of a fist and featuring the pan-african red, black and green colors. It has a gold tone back and measures 1. The clinched fist has always been a symbol or resistance and the red black and green pan-african colors have always been associated with African American liberation.
While on the podium, Smith and Carlos, who had won gold and bronze medals respectively in the meter running event of the Summer Olympicsturned to face the US flag and then kept their hands raised until the anthem had finished. In addition, Smith, Carlos, and Australian silver medalist Peter Norman all wore human-rights badges on their jackets. In his autobiography, Silent GestureSmith stated that the gesture was not a " Black Power " salute but rather a "human rights" salute.
Tommie Smith, John Carlos were ridiculed after raising fists during Olympics. Fifty years on, they inspire others. Fifty years ago, two African American track-and-field stars, having just been awarded their medals at the Olympic Summer Games and very aware that the eyes of the world were fastened to them, bowed their heads and raised black-gloved clenched fists under a Mexico City sky.
A national debate about race and proper military behavior broke out this week after sixteen African-American West Point cadets posed with raised fists for a pre-graduation picture. An inquiry at the academy found the cadets didn't violate any existing military rules that limit political activity. But the fists-up image led some to question if the woman expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which is rooted in protests over what critics say is the excessive use of police force against African-American men.
This story appears in the Oct. Click here for more. Start with the image, a still life of protest.
This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. The image of athletes making a bold political statement endures, and the declaration resonates to this day in the world of sports and far beyond. Their gesture was a show of defiance against oppression taking place at the height of the civil rights struggle in America.
By Asher Kohn. B ernie Sanders took the stage in Des Moines last night and threw his right fist in the air. His The Uprising shows a gray-haired man — looking a little like a younger Bernie — leading a furious crowd, sleeves rolled up and a fist up high.
Photograph: Getty. Fifty years on from the Mexico Olympics and time has held on to Tommie Smith and John Carlos, their black-gloved fists still clenched and raised, heads bowed in defiance; two of the most sombre medal winners to ever stand on an Olympic podium. Smith and Carlos may have appeared supremely controlled but the experience was terrifying: Carlos held his arm in a way he hoped might shield his face from the sniper fire he half expected.
The raised fistor the clenched fistis a symbol of solidarity and support. However, it was popularised during the Spanish Civil War ofwhen it was used by the Republican faction as a greeting, and was known as the " Popular Front salute" or the " anti-fascist salute". The salute subsequently spread among leftists and anti-fascists across Europe.