Adventures with Dr. Lady Cutie Troublemaker

Life is in flux BIG TIME these days. I want to keep in touch with all of my peeps. The Internet is this beautiful thing. I can move to a brand new city and still stay in easy, near-daily contact with the people I love. When I feel connected to the people in my life that matter, I am unstoppable!

Picture #33: 1968 Black Power Saluters Celebrate Obama’s Inauguration

By Abby at 4:45 pm on Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Did you happen to see The Boston Globe’s photo essay of yesterday’s inauguration of President Obama? I did. It’s amazing. One picture in particular stood out to me.

It was taken by Stan Grossfeld of the Boston Globe. Here’s the caption:

40 years after their silent protest at the 1968 Olympics, Gold Medalist Tommie Smith hugs Bronze Medalist John Carlos, and their wives Delois Smith and Charlene Carlos after Barack Obama is officially sworn in as the President of the United States. Photo taken in the Smith room at the Sheraton Boston in Boston, MA.

Zik, Another fellow Twitterer, noticed that picture, too. It was enough for me to think it was worth a blog post for anyone who missed the point of that picture in the photo essay today.

I wasn’t born in 1968, but my parents were there at the Olympics that year, and I’ve heard so much about this silent protest and the controversy it caused – both from them and from documentaries of the civil rights movement and the Olympics.

I found some history here for those who don’t know the story:

It was the most popular medal ceremony of all time. The photographs of two black American sprinters standing on the medal podium with heads bowed and fists raised at the Mexico City Games in 1968 not only represent one of the most memorable moments in Olympic history but a milestone in America’s civil rights movement.

The two men were Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Teammates at San Jose State University, Smith and Carlos were stirred by the suggestion of a young sociologist friend Harry Edwards, who asked them and all the other black American athletes to join together and boycott the games. The protest, Edwards hoped, would bring attention to the fact that America’s civil rights movement had not gone far enough to eliminate the injustices black Americans were facing. Edwards’ group, the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), gained support from several world-class athletes and civil rights leaders but the all-out boycott never materialized.

Still impassioned by Edwards’ words, Smith and Carlos secretly planned a non-violent protest in the manner of Martin Luther King, Jr. In the 200-meter race, Smith won the gold medal and Carlos the bronze. As the American flag rose and the Star-Spangled Banner played, the two closed their eyes, bowed their heads, and began their protest.

Smith later told the media that he raised his right, black-glove-covered fist in the air to represent black power in America while Carlos’ left, black-covered fist represented unity in black America. Together they formed an arch of unity and power. The black scarf around Smith’s neck stood for black pride and their black socks (and no shoes) represented black poverty in racist America.

While the protest seems relatively tame by today’s standards, the actions of Smith and Carlos were met with such outrage that they were suspended from their national team and banned from the Olympic Village, the athletes’ home during the games.

A lot of people thought that political statements had no place in the supposedly apolitical Olympic Games. Those that opposed the protest cried out that the actions were militant and disgraced Americans. Supporters, on the other hand, were moved by the duo’s actions and praised them for their bravery. The protest had lingering effects for both men, the most serious of which were death threats against them and their families.

Smith and Carlos, who both now coach high school track teams, were honored in 1998 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their protest.

An interesting side note to the protest was that the 200m silver medallist in 1968, Peter Norman of Australia (who is white), participated in the protest that evening by wearing a OPHR badge.

More information can be found on Wikipedia.

BBC has a great documentary about the event. Here’s Part One. The rest are linked below the video:

Here are links to Part 1 through Part 6:

I guess Obama’s win was enough for them to end their bickering.

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I See a Gray State, and I Want to Paint it Blue (Come on, NC!) – Updated!

By Abby at 9:44 am on Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NC still hasn’t been called, and it’s 8:30am the next morning, but I have hope. Obama and his campaign won an incredibly well-oiled ground game here in my state. It was something to see, because it felt like Barack, Michelle, and Joe were here every other day. There were Obama-related events here constantly, and many of my friends were heavy volunteers throughout the campaign. NC is up 11,000 right now. It’s not enough to call, but even though Obama has won the nation, it’s important to a LOT of us that he wins NC. We worked hard for it. We want it.

Click for a Large view

That map is what I fell asleep to, and it’s the same map I woke up to. From the NC Board of elections: Obama/Biden (DEM), 49.67%, 2,108,777 votes
McCain/Palin (REP), 49.40%, 2,097,531 votes

Come on, NC. I wonder if there will be a recount.

Take a look at some wonderful images my friend Massimo captured in downtown Raleigh. He must be thrilled, as he can’t vote in this country.

One more thing: I’m thrilled Libby Dole lost to Kay Hagen after that tacky “Godless” ad. That was tacky, tacky, tacky. People who hit below the belt shouldn’t win.

And last, a stupid video Jake and I made last night at our election watching party before the election was called:

Props to Jake for the title. He was singing Paint it Black this morning, but with the word blue. Clevah!

Update: YAY!

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By Abby at 12:20 am on Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I think this was right after some girl screamed "You're hot!"


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Barack’s Playlist

By Abby at 2:25 pm on Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Man has good taste!

Barack Obamas Favorite Music Playlist

Inclusion of “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye is a particular highlight for me.

John McCain has a playlist, too, today, I’m feeling Barack. YES WE CAN!

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Go Vote.

By Abby at 9:26 am on Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Subtle Hint

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