The Tragic Story of the White Man at the Black Power Salute That Shook the Olympics in 1968

Posted on Aug 25, 2016

The 1970s were a dark period in human history: segregation laws were nothing unusual and racial discrimination was strong. However, what this athlete did proved that everyone should fight for equality, no matter if they are black or white. Sadly, his sacrifice was forgotten until someone decided to pay tribute to this heroic man.

1. A Dark Period in History

A Dark Period in History
Photo: chrysler.org
Because of the inhumane treatment people of color were receiving, the States faced many uprisings by the end of the 1960s, and it became clear something had to be changed. In the middle of all that fuss created not only in the US but in the whole world, the Olympic Games in Mexico City were held in October. Only a few months earlier, Martin Luther King had been killed.

2. Two Courageous Athletes

Two Courageous Athletes
Photo: famouspictures.org
John Carlos and Tommie Smith are the two athletes that changed history. After winning their gold and bronze medals for the 200-meter run, they clenched their fists as an act of protest and solidarity to their black brothers and sisters, and this gesture got them into trouble.

3. But What About This Man?

But What About This Man?
Photo: filmsforaction.org
Peter Norman, from Australia, is a champ himself, and not only because he won the silver medal that year, but because he created history by openly supporting human rights. And he paid a high price for that.

4. Australia Had Similar Laws Considering the Black People

Australia Had Similar Laws Considering the Black People
Photo: smashcompany.com
Norman was known as the fastest Australian in history, and he came from a country that had almost the same segregation laws as America. People who were seen in the presence of a person of color could lose everything, and the government's policies would tear apart many families. They would take away their children and put them in a new home with white people, so the child could grow up to be "civilized."
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The Tragic Story of the White Man at the Black Power Salute That Shook the Olympics in 1968
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