Protesting Racism in America


John Dominis, [American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos protesting racial inequity with raised fists during national anthem at Olympics, Mexico City], October 16, 1968 (recto and verso) (1012.2005)

Fifty years ago today, as the American national anthem began to play during the awards ceremony to honor the winners of the 200-meter dash at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, American athletes Tommie Smith (gold) and John Carlos (bronze) bowed their heads, took off their shoes, and raised black-gloved fists in a Black Power salute; “…they wore gloves to represent black America, and removed their shoes and wore black socks to symbolize the poverty [and lack of health care] of the American black community. Smith wore a scarf and Carlos a bead necklace, recalling lynching…” All three athletes, including the Australian Peter Norman (silver), wore the round patch of the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), a short-lived (1967-1968) yet significant group in the long march for international racial equality. John Dominis “was one of the few photographers who happened to be in the media pen 20 feet away watching.” This print, a donation by Time-Life, was used for reproduction in numerous publications, including Life.

Sources:
Guardian, March 30, 2012, “The man who raised a black power salute at the 1968 Olympic Games”
The Nation, July 25, 2012, “Fists of Freedom: An Olympic Story Not Taught in School”
University of Texas at Austin, “A Guide to the John Dominis Photographic Archive, 1952-2005”
Z Magazine, December 1, 2003, “An Interview with John Carlos, By Dave Zirin”


John Dominis, [American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos protesting racial inequity with raised fists during national anthem at Olympics, Mexico City], October 16, 1968 (1012.2005)

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2 Responses to Protesting Racism in America

  1. Pingback: 50 years ago today, Tommie Smith and John Carlos – This isn't happiness

  2. Pingback: 50 years ago these days, Tommie Smith and John Carlos - Desymbol

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