Heroes Live In Color 2: Silent Strength (202) Who were Tommie Smith and John Carlos? Tommie C. Smith at the 1968 Summer Olympics, aged 24, won the 200-meter sprint finals and gold medal in 19.83 seconds – the first time the 20-second barrier was broken legally. His Black Power salute with John Carlos atop the medal podium to protest racism and injustice against African-Americans in the United States caused controversy, as it was seen as politicizing the Olympic Games. It remains a symbolic moment in the history of the Black Power movement. Tommie Smith, who stood on the top step of the 1968 Olympic 200m podium, his black-gloved right fist raised set a precedent for athletic protests. (From @wikipedia) When Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos raised their fists, wearing Olympic Project for Human Rights buttons along with Australian silver medalist Peter Norman, they were calling attention to people being oppressed around the world. “What we stood for in 1968, here we are in 2020, and it’s come full circle back to what we said,” Carlos told NBC Sports track and field analyst Ato Boldon. Today black people are facing similar oppression in the new fight for racial and social justice. I wanted to paint this to share their story and encourage athletes and all of you to continue to use your platform to lead change. Thank you to the NBA, MLS, and other athletes who are bringing awareness to justice. Heroes Live In Color: “Silent Strength” (2020) 40x30 Limited Prints Available with a portion of the proceeds donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.