Photographer's Note

There is currently a sculpture exhibition taking place in Rockefeller Center. Twenty pieces by fourteen different artists are being displayed in the outdoor plaza and in some of the building lobbies. This cut-out is part of a four-piece group called DRY CUT by Brazilian artist Paulo Nazareth. It showcases icons from the civil rights era.

This figure is African-American athlete Tommie Smith. At the Summer Olympics in Mexico City in 1968 he won the gold medal in the 200 meter sprint. During the medal ceremony, Tommie Smith and American athlete John Carlos, (who won the bronze medal), both raised a black-gloved fist during the playing of the US national anthem. The gesture was a black power salute, and it was considered one of the most overtly political acts in the history of the modern Olympics. Both athletes also wore black socks and no shoes to represent African-American poverty in the United States.

There was considerable backlash to this gesture. Even though more than fifty years have passed, African-American athletes are still trying to draw attention to racial inequality and injustice, and there is still backlash to their protests. It’s sad that these protests are still necessary…

In the WS is another one of the cut-outs.

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Additional Photos by Brenda Elaine (worldcitizen) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1800 W: 289 N: 3589] (13258)
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