#AtoZ 1968 – “B” is for Black Power Salute in Mexico City

“You’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.” ~ Astronaut Frank Borman, on seeing the entire earth from outer space as he and the crew of the Apollo 8 returned from orbiting the moon.

image from Wikipedia, photograph by John Dominis

Tommie Smith and John Carlos were featured recently during NBC’s coverage of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, as this is the 50th anniversary of the 1968 event.

The demonstration, known as the 1968 Olympics Human Rights Salute, was conducted by Smith and Carlos during their medal ceremony in Mexico City for the summer games. In the 200-meter running event, Tommie Smith won the gold medal and John Carlos won the bronze. As the national anthem for the United States played, Smith and Carlos turned on the podium and raised one fist, covered with a black glove. Also, Smith and Carlos, as well as Australian silver medalist Peter Norman, wore human rights badges on their jackets.

In his autobiography, Silent Gesture, Smith stated that the gesture was not a “Black Power” salute, but meant as a human rights salute. Both Smith and Carlos removed their shoes to receive their medals, but wore black socks, to symbolize black poverty in America. International Olympic Committee president Avery Brundage ordered Smith and Carlos suspended from the US team and banned from the Olympic Village. The US Olympic Committee refused, and Brundage threatened to ban the entire US track team. This threat led to the expulsion of the two athletes.

A to Z badge 2


Here’s the #88 song on Billboard’s Year-End Top 100 Singles of 1968:

“Do You Know the Way to San Jose” by Dionne Warwick


This Past Week

Some of the past week’s highlights:

  • Still battling a little bit of dizziness in the morning when I get up.  Not vertigo, because there’s no spinning, but I do feel light-headed and a little off-balance.  My dear friend Geri sent me some wonderful information and exercises, and I’m going to start doing them.

  • On Tuesday, my husband and I had a day together (rare!).  We decided to drive to Old Saybrook, Connecticut (about an hour and twenty minutes south of us).  Beautiful summer resort town.  A close friend used to take a summer rental there, and we shared some great memories.  But, summer is summer, so there were traffic delays, and it was hot, and some people are just rude.  Still, we found a great bookstore selling paperbacks for fifty cents and hardcovers for a buck.  Although we both read e-books for the most part now, it was fun to pick up a couple of printed books.  We had lunch at a place called the Penny Lane Pub, and I guess they follow the English tradition of not really cooking the bacon.  My turkey club ended up being a turkey sandwich.
  • I’m learning to be patient about the launch of my debut novel, “Chocolate for Breakfast.”  All things take time.  Hoping for the novel to be online by mid-August now.  What I cannot control, I must accept!

  • Tried a new recipe that proved to be a keeper.  Actually, I didn’t follow a recipe; I rarely do when I cook.  Took a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut a pocket in each.  After removing the stems, I chopped up some baby spinach leaves.  Also chopped up some sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, added them to a bowl and mixed in some feta cheese crumbles.  Add more olive oil if you need it.  Stuff the chicken breasts with the mixture and bake.  I added cooked bulghur wheat and served the chicken on top of more baby spinach leaves.  Delicious!

  • Watched the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics.  Brilliant!  That Danny Boyle (director of Slumdog Millionaire) is a national treasure.  With so much troubling news in the world, here is an opportunity, for a couple of weeks, to focus on good.  The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”  The motto was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin on the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894. De Coubertin borrowed it from his friend Henri Didon, a Dominican priest who was an athletics enthusiast. The motto was introduced in 1924 at the Olympic Games in Paris.
  • Inadvertently threw away a generous gift card that was enclosed in a birthday card.  Put it in the recycle bin.  Trash pickup is Friday, and my husband always gets up early to bring the bins out to the curb.  Only this week he slept late and missed the early-morning pickup.  I thought the gift card was lost.  It wasn’t; it was still in the recycle bin, at the bottom.  There’s some luck for you!

  • Wishing you good luck all this coming week, as we move out of July and into August.  The heat will remain, undoubtedly, but the sunsets come earlier, and one morning, weeks from now, you’ll wake to a cooler breeze and know autumn isn’t far away.