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Olympic Black Power Statue

Olympic Black Power Statue

During their medal ceremony in the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City on October 16, 1968, African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raised a black-gloved fist during the playing of the US national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner". While on the podium, Smith and Carlos, who had won gold and bronze medals respectively in the 200-meter running event of the 1968 Summer Olympics, turned to face the US flag and then kept their hands raised until the anthem had finished.

The demonstration is regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympics. The African-American athletes intended to draw global attention to the plight of people of color in the U.S., spotlighting the injustice and inequality endured by millions of black Americans. In 2005, the athletes were honored by their alma mater, San Jose State University, with a sculpture depicting their famous gesture. 

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1 Washington Square, San Jose State University
San Jose, California 95112



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