Black History: October 16, 1968 - The Silent Protest
Today in history at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, African-American athlete Tommie Smith won the 200-metre dash in a record time of 19.83 seconds, thus winning the gold medal. White Australian athlete Peter Norman came second at 20.06 seconds and African-American athlete John Carlos came third at 20.10 seconds.
While receiving their medals at the podium:
- Smith and Carlos removed their shoes, wearing black socks to symbolise black poverty
- Smith represented his black pride by wearing a black scarf
- Carlos wore beads as a reference to the slaves who were thrown over boats in the middle passage and for those who were lynched, killed, hung and tarred
- Both athletes wore a single black glove (Peter Norman suggested that John Carlos should wear Tommie Smith’s left-hand glove)
Smith and Carlos bowed their head and raised their gloved fists as the American Star-Spangled Banner played, and the crowd booed the athletes as they left the podium. After the event, Smith stated:
“If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say “a Negro”. We are black and we are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did tonight.”
A mother of a small boy who likes to wear dresses wrote a book just for him and little boys like him.
It is about acceptance, love and breaking the traditional stereotypes. I read it to my own little princess boy and his brothers and hope that little by little we can change the world where these sort of books don’t have to be written to help with acceptance, a world where there is no hate. Especially the hate directed to little boys who wear pink and the families that love them.