The 1968 Olympics Black Power Salute: African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists in a gesture of solidarity at the 1968 Olympic games. Australian Silver medalist Peter Norman wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in support of their protest. Both Americans were expelled from the games as a result.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture - THE BLACK POWER SALUTE Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black-gloved fists when the United States national anthem was played during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
16 October 1968, U.S. athlete Tommie Smith won the 200 meter race in a record time of 19.83 secs, with Australia's Peter Norman second, and the U.S.'s John Carlos in third. After the race, the three went to collect their medals. The two U.S. athletes received their medals shoeless, but wearing black socks, to represent black poverty.
L'histoire incroyable de l'homme à gauche de cette photo
After the race, Carlos and Smith told Norman what they were planning to do during the ceremony. As Flanagan wrote: "They asked Norman if he believed in human rights. He said he did. They asked him if he believed in God. Norman, who came from a Salvation Army background, said he believed strongly in God. We knew that what we were going to do was far greater than any athletic feat. He said, 'I'll stand with you'." Carlos said he expected to see fear in Norman's eyes. He didn't. "I saw love."
This iconic photograph is from the 1968 Olympics. What Tommie Smith and John Carlos did was a 'black power' salute on the podium. The idea of this salute was Peter Norman's who did not perform the salute himself. Norman, an Australian, was later blacklisted from appearing at any future Olympics because he supported black rights. He was ostracized and went into severe depression and took to substance abuse.