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A Conversation with Olympian Dr. Tommie Smith

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. present’s part one of a two-part discussion with Dr. Tommie Smith, Olympian, civil rights activist, and co- author of 'Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice.’

Dr. Tommie Smith stands on an Olympic Podium with a gold medal around his neck. He is lowering his head and raising his fist.

In 1968, at the 19th Olympiad held in Mexico City – Smith and John Carlos made a silent gesture regarding the abuse of human rights around the world and civil rights here in America. Smith and Carlos won the gold and silver medals, respectively, for the 200- meter dash. Receiving their medals on the podium - wearing black socks and no shoes - they raised their fists and froze a moment in time that will forever be remembered as a powerful day of protest.

Smith talks about growing up in rural Texas, moving to California, becoming a stellar athlete, attending San Jose State University, what led to the Olympic protest and racial injustice in America.

John L. Hanson is the producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio series In Black America. It’s heard on home station KUT at 10 p.m. Tuesdays and 6:30 a.m. Sundays — and weekly on close to 20 stations across the country. The weekly podcast of IBA, the only nationally broadcast Black-oriented public affairs radio program, is one of KUT’s most popular podcasts.