SI SPORT WEEK #2-3: Black Power Salute 1968

During their medal presentation in the Mexico 1968 Summer Olympics, the two 200-metre gold and bronze winners, Tommy Smith and John Carlos respectively (both were American and black) gave what became known as the Black Power Salute . It became an iconic political statement.

Forty years later, in 2008, the BBC made a documentary about it featuring commentary from well-known academic sociologists of ‘race’, politics and sport like Ben Carrington and Harry Edwards and others. It has some excellent interviews with the people centrally involved and substantial footage from the 1960s of the main black people involved in planning these protests, of the athletes themselves and old footage of the racist ruler of International Olympics at that time- Avery Brundage. My only complaint is that it leaves the story of the white Australian silver medallist completely untouched as he also supported their gesture, coming as he did from a racist country himself…

Watch the documentary on googlevideos below:


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