Black Power Salute: Forty-Fifth Anniversary

Oct. 16, 2013, 1:36 p.m. (ET)

Exactly 45 years ago, Tommie Smith and John Carlos shocked the world when they raised their fists wearing black gloves in a black power salute during the 200-meter track & field medal ceremony at the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games. Leading up to the Games in Mexico, African-American athletes considered a boycott of the games to protest a long list of grievances including racism in the United States, the lack of black coaches in the Olympic Games, and the inclusion of apartheid South Africa in the Games. Instead, Smith and Carlos decided to take individual actions. In this video, Tommie Smith allows cameras into his home for the first time, shows his famous gold medal, and takes viewers through that historical moment when he decided to turn a gold medal moment into a cry for freedom.