Olympians


Peter Norman, Tommie Smith and John Carlos during the 200-meters medal presentation at the 1968 Summer Olympics (The Associated Press).

A while back, I interviewed John Carlos for my job. Here is that podcast. I guess I’ve always recognized this photograph, but I never really truly knew what it was about until I saw Spike Lee’s Bamboozled a few years ago. Since that interview, I know even more. For instance, Australian silver medalist Peter Norman supported Smith and Carlos’s decision to show the Black Power salute while receiving their medals. And years later, they supported him.

“This shit gotta be fuckin’ big, y’all. It’s gotta be some global blowout shit. This shit gotta have some symbolism to it — sustenance! This shit gotta be like fuckin’ John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the ’68 Olympics, know what I’m saying? Put the fists up! Some big shit!”
-Excerpted from Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled”

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