Black power [1968]

Picture of Tommie Smith on the gold medal platform, John Carlos on the bronze raising their fists in salute at 1968 Mexico City Olympics. For many, Tommie Smith’s and John Carlos’s protest was their first introduction to “Black Power” and the clenched fist, raised arm Black Power salute. Media editors denounced them as unpatriotic, and un-American yet Smith thought that was the point saying, “If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say ‘a Negro’. We are black and we are proud of being black.”

Smith and Carlos each wore a black glove on opposite hands, and Smith’s raised right fist represented Black Power, while Carlos raised left fist represented Black Unity. Together, the raised black, gloved fists formed an arch of Unity and Power. Along with the gloves, the men wore black socks with no shoes to protest black poverty.

Having such an elaborate statement many people assumed that Carlos and Smith were close, yet they barely talked before and after the protest. They only worked out their statement during the two-hour wait for the medal ceremony.

Black power [1968]

Photographer: unknown
Source: wikipedia.org

Little Rock desegregation [1957]

This is another iconic image of the 50′s segregation period. Elizabeth Eckford is one of the African American students known as the Little Rock Nine. On September 4, 1957, she and eight other African American students attempted to enter Little Rock Central High School, which had previously only accepted white students. They were stopped at the door by Arkansas National Guard troops called up by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. They tried again without success to attend Central High on September 23, 1957. The next day, September 24, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent U.S. Army troops to accompany the Little Rock Nine to school for protection.

The thing is… she is not the subject of the photograph. Will Counts, the photographer shot Hazel Massery, the white girl shouting in front of the man. 40 years later she apologized to Elisabeth.

Little Rock desegregation [1957]

Photographer: Will Counts
Source: wikipedia.org