Black power salute

With the euphoria of the London Olympic games, photographs of sporting moments form fixed notions of symbolic endeavour that inspire and create role-models. The one photograph that captures this notion for me best, is the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute by athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony at the Mexico City Olympic games.

Ever since I first came across this image, it has been on my mind. Charged with human and civil rights protest, it played with the idea that Smith and Carlos gave us the answers, with just one symbolic gesture. The gesture rose questions of belief, courage, sacrifice and dignity.
Under the gaze of the world, Smith and Carlos faced their respected flag and listened to the Star-Spangled Banner anthem. They both raised a fist, coated in black leather gloves, penetrating the dark sky until the anthem had finished.
The emotional experience conveyed in this symbolic act, following years of training and commitment as athletes, will forever resonate with me.

1968 Olympics Black Power Salute, Mexico City, signed by Tommy Smith, photographer unknown / AP, gifted to Autograph ABP by Iqbal Wahhab, courtesy of: Autograph ABP

1968 Olympics Black Power Salute, Mexico City, signed by Tommy Smith, photographer unknown / AP, gifted to Autograph ABP by Iqbal Wahhab, courtesy of: Autograph ABP