The man who raised a black power salute - in conversation at FACT
10 May 2012
On the eve of the London Olympics, John will be appearing at FACT on 25 May at 6pm, as part of a UK tour.
John Carlos may not be a name you immediately recognise - but his political demonstration at the 1968 Mexico Olympics has become one of the world's most instantly recognisable and iconic images of all time.
John Carlos and Tommie Smith's black-gloved salute on the winner's podium 44 years ago brought worldwide attention to racial segregation and inequality in the USA.
The event will be a unique opportunity for people across the UK to hear John Carlos describe the personal and political reasons why he took the decision to raise his clenched gloved fist and explain how over the last 44 years that one gesture has radically altered his personal and professional life.
John Carlos said:
"Coming to the UK on the eve of the Olympics is a very exciting opportunity for me to talk with the new generation about why we did what we did back in 1968. When Tommie Smith and I raised our fists on that medal platform at the Olympics, we knew that we would catch hell but we didn't care. We didn't care because we wanted the coming generations to live and breathe as full citizens with equal rights. I was just concerned with right and wrong. We went out there for humanity. We are here 43 years later because the fight is still to be won."
Joining John Carlos on his speaking tour will be the award winning writer Dave Zirin, who recently co-authored a biography of John Carlos: The John Carlos Story(Haymarket Books).
Commenting on John Carlos Dave Zirin said:
"I know of no other athlete whose story is as compelling as John Carlos's life. From growing up in Harlem in post war Harlem to his iconic act of political defiance in Mexico through to the personal and political fight he has endured for the last 44 years since his noble act of defiance. I have not met anyone who has not listened to the compelling story of John Carlos, spoken in his own words and not been moved and excited at the same time."