At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Tommie Smith and his teammate John Carlos came in first and third, respectively, in the 200-meter dash. As they received their medals, each man raised a black-gloved fist, creating an image that will always stand as an iconic representation of the complicated conflations of race, politics, and sports. In this, his autobiography, Smith fills out the story around that moment--how it came to be and where it led him.
Smith engagingly describes his life-long commitment to athletics, education, and human rights. He also dispels some of the myths surrounding his famous gesture of protest: contrary to legend, Smith was not a member of the Black Panthers, nor were his medals taken back by the Olympic Committee. Retelling the fear he felt in planning and carrying out his protest, the death threats against him, his difficulty in finding work, and his determination to live his values, he conveys the long, painful backlash that came with his fame, and his fate, all of which was wrapped up in his "silent gesture."
Foreword 1: Welcome Home - 1 2: October 16, 1968 - 26 3: Out of the Fields - 55 4: The Biggest City I've Ever Seen - 95 5: Run Before You Walk - 123 6: The Coach and the Professor - 147 7: Linked Forever - 147 8: No Gold, No Glove - 190 9: Paying the Price - 220 10: Going Underground - 247 11: Families Lost, and Found - 268 12: It Will Outlive Me - 296 Epilogue: Silent and Eternal - 324 Acknowledgements About the Authors