THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Download: Black Merda “Set Me Free”

On the morning of October 16, 1968, American athlete Smith won the 200 metre race in a then-world-record time of 19.83 seconds, with Australia’s Peter Norman second with a time of 20.06 seconds, and American Carlos in third place with a time of 20.10 seconds. After the race was completed, the three went to collect their medals at the podium. The two American athletes received their medals shoeless, but wearing black socks, to represent black poverty. Smith wore a black scarf around his neck to represent black pride. Carlos had his tracksuit top unzipped to show solidarity with all blue collar workers in America. Furthermore, Carlos wore beads which he described “were for those individuals that were lynched, or killed that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. It was for those thrown off the side of the boats in the middle passage.”

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