John Carlos, and the Black Power salute

John Carlos at 'You are Here' Lance Wyman Exhibtion

John Carlos at ‘You are Here’ Lance Wyman Exhibition.  Photo (c) Finola Gaynor

John Carlos, kindly came along to see the show ‘You are here‘, here at Norwich. He was both humble and inspiring. His conversation with students at NUCA, The Gallery, was focused around the importance of the Black Power Salute and the sad consequences that he, Tommie Smith and Peter Norman faced post the 1968 Olympics.

John spoke about the way his fellow americans had ostracised him 44 years ago and now the same people clamber to have a token picture taken with him.

The Black Power salute at the Mexico 1968 Olympics was a protest made by the 200 metres American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos and Peter Norman the Australian competitor. Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black gloved fists, wore open sports jackets without shoes on the winners podium. All three athletes wore Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badges after Norman, a critic of Australia’s White Australia Policy, expressed empathy with their ideals.


Eastern Daily Press