African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in the Black Power Salute during the 200-meter medal ceremony at the Olympics on this day in 1968.
What was the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics?
During the medal ceremony for the 200-meter sprint at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their gloved fists, a symbol for black power. The gesture was a protest against racial discrimination and social injustice faced by African Americans in the United States. They aimed to draw attention to the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing struggle for equality.
What was the significance of raising fists with gloves on?
Tommie Smith and John Carlos wore black gloves to represent black unity and raised their fists to symbolize solidarity and black pride. They also went shoeless to represent black poverty and wore beads around their necks in memory of lynching victims.
What were the consequences of the Black Power salute protest at the Mexico Olympics?
Following the protest, both Tommie Smith and John Carlos were expelled from the Olympic Village and faced backlash in the United States. They received death threats and criticism but also gained support from civil rights activists and some athletes.