Black Power In The Olympics Essay

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The Silent Protest Heard Around the World Sports have always served as a place where athletes can express their emotions and represent where they come from and who they are. The 1968 Olympic protests reflected the struggles of the civil rights movement and rose awareness about African American inferior feelings in the United States. The Olympic committee immediately condemned the US track stars for their actions, but this only led to more controversy surrounding the topic. Black power had recently been gaining popularity in the United States, and they had begun to develop an identity of their own, which made them a target of racial prejudice. Also around this time, the Olympic Project for Human Rights had been created, which opened the door for the runners to make their symbolic protest at the following Olympic games. The protests were successful according to some people and a failure to others, but it is undeniable that the action left its mark on history. Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s memorable protest was aimed to raise awareness about Black Power, which had become increasingly popular during the 60s. Blacks were developing an identity for themselves that would be a large part in forming how they were viewed by the rest of the public. Many were identified by their baggy clothes and hair, which was often fashioned into an Afro. A group that had a great deal of influence on Black Power was the Black Panther Party. Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded it in 1966. The main goal of the party was to implement forceful or violent tactics to force social and political change (Black Panther Party 1). The group supported the actions of Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the podium because of the controversy and the publicity the act would create. African Americans had protested and shocked the world of sports many times before the signature event of the 1968 Mexico

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