EXCLUSIVE: Tommie Smith, Who With John Carlos Shook The World At 1968 Olympics, Talks With Amos About Circle City Classic Honors

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A jubilant American long sprinter Tommie Smith raises his arms as he crosses the finish line to set a new world and Olympic record at the 19th Olympics in Mexico City, October 17, 1968. Smith and his bronze-winning teammate John Carlos (far left, number 259) would cause controversy at their medal ceremony when they raised gloved hands in the 'Black Power' salute (an upraised fist) during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. (Photo by Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

A jubilant American long sprinter Tommie Smith raises his arms as he crosses the finish line to set a new world and Olympic record at the 19th Olympics in Mexico City, October 17, 1968. Smith and his bronze-winning teammate John Carlos (far left, number 259) would cause controversy at their medal ceremony when they raised gloved hands in the ‘Black Power’ salute (an upraised fist) during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. (Photo by Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

Tommie Smith (C) and John Carlos (R) raise their gloved fists in the Black Power salute to express their opposition to racism in the USA during the National Anthem, after receiving their medals at the 1968 Olympic Games. At left is Peter Norman of Australia who took second place. (Photo OFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Tommie Smith (C) and John Carlos (R) raise their gloved fists in the Black Power salute to express their opposition to racism in the USA during the National Anthem, after receiving their medals at the 1968 Olympic Games. At left is Peter Norman of Australia who took second place. (Photo OFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Tommie Smith (L) & John Carlos at the 2008 ESPY Awards. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tommie Smith (L) & John Carlos at the 2008 ESPY Awards. (Photo: Getty Images)

At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, a young sprinter named Tommie Smith won the 200 meter dash.  Then with bronze medal winner John Carlos the two excited and enraged the world as they raised a black gloved right hand in the air in a historic stand for human rights, liberation and solidarity.  John Carlos and Tommie Smith are the 2013 Major Taylor Award Recipients at the 30th Circle City Classic and co-Grand Marshall’s of the 30th annual Circle City Classic Parade.  In an exclusive Afternoons with Amos interview, Tommie Smith, talked about his life, career, what happened at the ’68 Olympics and the aftermath. Tommie Smith, 69, is a native of Clarksville, Texas, but his career took off in Lemoore, California. By the time he graduated from high school, he had been voted “Most Valuable Athlete” three years straight, in basketball, football, and track and field. He receivied his Bachelors Degree from San Jose State University and his Masters from Goddard Cambridge in Massachusetts. During the historic 19th Olympiad held in Mexico City, in the summer of 1968, Tommie Smith broke the world and Olympic records at the time to win the 200-meter race.  As Tommie Smith and John Carlos who came in third stood on the victory podium, draped with their Olympic medals, each raised a clinched fist, covered in a black leather glove in a historic stand for human rights, liberation and solidarity.  This courageous, unexpected worldwide event propelled Tommie Smith into the spotlight as a human rights spokesman, activist, and symbol of African American pride at home and abroad.  Cheered by some, jeered by others, and ignored by many more, Tommie Smith made a commitment to dedicate his life, even at great personal risk, to champion the cause of oppressed people. After the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith professional football for legendary Coach Paul Brown with the Cincinnati Bengals. He them went on to teach and coach at Oberlin College. Tommie Smith holds numerous awards as is a member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. During his exclusive interview with Amos, Tommie Smith talked about that moment at the 1968 Olympics and the aftermath.  While Smith and Carlos have received numerous honors since then, the Olympic movement continues to shun them and excluding them from being honored in the Olympics Hall of Fame.  Click the Arrow to Hear Amos Interview with Olympic Champoin, famed Track & Field Athlete and Living History Tommie Smith. Runs 22 Minutes ©2013 WTLC/Radio One.

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