Seen around the world, John Carlos and Tommie Smith's Black Power salute on the 1968 Olympic podium sparked controversy and career fallout. Yet their show of defiance remains one of the most iconic images of Olympic history and the Black Power movement. Here is the remarkable story of one of the men behind the salute, lifelong activist, John Carlos.
©2011 John Carlos (P)2011 Haymarket Books
"Biblically, athletes with superior attributes were seen as gifts from God. Whether it was Samson staring down the Philistines or David slaying Goliath, they and latter-day heroes such as Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali, selflessly used their gifts and magnificently magnified platforms to transform society. It is in that tradition that John Carlos, and his teammate Tommie Smith, raised their fists in solidarity with the American civil rights struggle, as well as the struggles of those who exist on the downside of advantage. It was a statement for the ages. This act of righteous defiance lifted us all to a new level of dignity and shared responsibility to improve the conditions of the poor the world over...But the price of heroism is high. John Carlos paid and this is his story." (Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.)
"John Carlos is an American hero. And finally he has written a memoir to tell us his story-and a powerful story it is. I couldn't put this book down." (Michael Moore)
"An intelligent and insightful look into the journey of one of our most underrated heroes. Mr. Carlos' passion for justice and fairness has changed our world. You can feel his passion (and his anger) in every word." (Jemele Hill, ESPN columnist and television analyst)
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As a boy born in the early 60s I knew if this event, but not the story behind it. What a story and what a life. If you are interested in sports and human endeavour then this is a must read or audio book. The reference to Peter Norman is great and listening to the 200m race details is thrilling. Thanks to John Carlos for writing it. Mark Grooby - Melbourne, Australia
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