At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, a young sprinter named Tommie Smith won the 200 meter dash. Then with bronze medal winner John Carlos the two excited and enraged the world as they raised a black gloved right hand in the air in a historic stand for human rights, liberation and solidarity. John Carlos and Tommie Smith are the 2013 Major Taylor Award Recipients at the 30th Circle City Classic and co-Grand Marshall’s of the 30th annual Circle City Classic Parade. In an exclusive Afternoons with Amos interview, Tommie Smith, talked about his life, career, what happened at the ’68 Olympics and the aftermath. Tommie Smith, 69, is a native of Clarksville, Texas, but his career took off in Lemoore, California. By the time he graduated from high school, he had been voted “Most Valuable Athlete” three years straight, in basketball, football, and track and field. He receivied his Bachelors Degree from San Jose State University and his Masters from Goddard Cambridge in Massachusetts. During the historic 19th Olympiad held in Mexico City, in the summer of 1968, Tommie Smith broke the world and Olympic records at the time to win the 200-meter race. As Tommie Smith and John Carlos who came in third stood on the victory podium, draped with their Olympic medals, each raised a clinched fist, covered in a black leather glove in a historic stand for human rights, liberation and solidarity. This courageous, unexpected worldwide event propelled Tommie Smith into the spotlight as a human rights spokesman, activist, and symbol of African American pride at home and abroad. Cheered by some, jeered by others, and ignored by many more, Tommie Smith made a commitment to dedicate his life, even at great personal risk, to champion the cause of oppressed people. After the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith professional football for legendary Coach Paul Brown with the Cincinnati Bengals. He them went on to teach and coach at Oberlin College. Tommie Smith holds numerous awards as is a member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. During his exclusive interview with Amos, Tommie Smith talked about that moment at the 1968 Olympics and the aftermath. While Smith and Carlos have received numerous honors since then, the Olympic movement continues to shun them and excluding them from being honored in the Olympics Hall of Fame. Click the Arrow to Hear Amos Interview with Olympic Champoin, famed Track & Field Athlete and Living History Tommie Smith. Runs 22 Minutes ©2013 WTLC/Radio One.
Tags: 1968 Olympics » 200 meter dash 1968 Olympics » Amos Brown » Black power at Olympics » Black power salute at Olympics » Circle City Classic Major Taylor Award Winners » Circle City Classic Parade Grand Marshals » John Carlos » Mexico City Olympics » Olympic controversy » Tommie Smith » track and field legenda