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Summary

At the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith came in first in the 200-meter dash. As they received their medals, he and bronze winner John Carlos each raised a black-gloved fist, creating an indelible image of courage and protest that still resonates 40 years later. In this, his autobiography, Smith fills out the story of that moment - how it came to be and where it led him - and paints a vivid picture of the long, painful backlash that came with his fame, and his fate, all of which was rapped up in his "silent gesture".

©2007 Temple University (P)2014 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"The book offers insights into Smith's athletic prowess... When he describes the physical sensations of running - the paradoxical relaxation of muscles required to explode out of the blocks, the adrenaline that floods the body as a sprinter takes the get-set position and the stride-by-stride account of the 1968 gold medal race, Smith's narrative surges to life." ( The Washington Post)
"His experiences at the Olympics are described so vividly that readers will feel as if they're witnessing it unfold themselves... Smith's candid reflections on life after Mexico City is compelling..." (Black Issues Book Review)
Silent Gesture provides, by far, the most powerful punctuation mark in explaining one of the most historic of all Olympic moments.” ( Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies)

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Profile Image for Mary A
  • Mary A
  • 02-12-20

MISUNDERSTOOD COURAGE

Thank you Tommie Smith for taking a stand when others couldn't or wouldn't. America still has many issues and it takes to long for her to realize the wrongs. You took a stand in 1968 for human rights and to this day some people don't understand why you raised your gloved fist. It wasn't a black power salute but rather a stand for HUMAN RIGHTS.
Kaepernick and Reid took a stand in 2016 against police killing black men. Kaepernick was ostracized and the President of the United States called him a son of a bitch and stirred up the public against him. The thinking seems to be keep quiet and stay in your "place". The county hasn't changed much since 1968 and recently it seems that history is repeating itself. It's sad. You and Carlos took a stand. It cost you greatly. Again I thank you for having to courage to stand up for what is right.