The Untold Story of Latinos in America “We are all Americans of the New World, and our most dangerous enemies are not each other, but the great wall of ignorance between us.” Juan González, Harvest of Empire
"Meet powerhouse artist/activist Favianna Rodriguez — a leading voice in the movement of artists raising awareness about U.S. immigration issues." - I am OTHER
Friday, June 14, 2013
1968 Olympics and the Black Power Movement
The Human Rights Salute, popularly known as the Black Power Salute was made famous to the world at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
The movement that lead to the preparation of this iconic photo was called the Olympic Project for Human Rights or OPHR, which was established by Harry Edwards, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, UC Berkeley.
The 1968 Olympics took place the same year that Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated. It took an enormous amount of courage to make these public displays of solidarity.
Tommie Smith, Olympic Gold 1968, 200 Meter
He described his salute as a "Black cry for freedom". They took off their Pumas to show solidarity with the poor who have no shoes. They wore black socks and black gloves to signify solidarity with the Black man. Smith received more than 50 threats to his life during this era.
John Carlos, Olympic Bronze 1968, 200 Meter
He wore the left glove from the one set of black gloves that was brought. There were supposed to be two sets of black gloves but one set was left behind. Carlos left his jacket unzipped to break with protocol. His necklace symbolizes the ropes of lynchings. At one point during this period John's dog was slaughtered into pieces and thrown onto his front porch.
Peter Norman, Olympic Silver 1968 and supporter of Human Rights
Adorned the OPHR badge that he requested from one of the Harvard University Rowing Team members. Norman also suggested that John Carlos wear the left black glove.
|San Jose State University|
This is where a statue to commemorate Smith and Carlos was installed in 2005
Harvard University Rowing Team
Supported the OPHR. The member who gave his OPHR badge to Peter Norman was going to also be suspended and sent home but white privilege kicked in for him and he was allowed to row with his team.
Suspended Tommie Smith and John Carlos after their salute during the Star Spangled Banner. Brundage stipulated that they must leave Mexico within 48 hours. Brundage is the person who excused White Nazi salutes at the 1936 German Olympics as national salutes and therefor okay, but didn't excuse the Black Power salute for the Olympic Project for Human Rights.
Additional Americans who made the 1968 Olympics one of the best for the United States
Lee Evans, Olympic Gold 1968, 400 Meters
Larry James, Olympic Gold 1968, 400 Meters
Ron Freeman, Olympic Gold 1968, 400 Meters
They all wore black berets when they walked onto the stand, they gave a quick and smaller black power fist, and when the national anthem played they put their hands to their sides and removed their berets.
Bob Beamon, Olympic Gold 1968, Long Jump record that stood for 20 years
Black Power Salute documentary on YouTube
- Fists of Freedom: An Olympic Story Not Taught in School
- San Jose State University – The Tommie Smith John Carlos Statue
- The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975