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People I Admire: Tommie Smith

February 21, 2010

In celebration of Black History Month, I chose to highlight Mr. Tommie Smith.  Tommie Smith and John Carlos made a powerful political statement in the 1968 Olympics at a time when the civil rights movement was still going on.  They rose their fist in the traditional Black Power salute (apparently John Carlos forgot his gloves, so he wore Tommie’s left glove) on a global stage to show the struggle that is going on in the states.  Here is a quote from Mr. Smith “”If I win, I am American, not a black American. But if I did something bad, then they would say I am a Negro. We are black and we are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did tonight”.  When he received his medal, he was booed from the stage.  Sometimes doing what is right is not always the popular choice.  And sometimes fuck the popular choice.  Here’s to Mr. Tommie Smith.  A gold medal Olympian.  A San Jose State Spartan.  And a silent gesture.

Fun Fact: I live in the house he used to live in when he went to SJSU

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  1. The Break In « $$$ WON

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