Sacramento - The California Legislative Black Caucus hosted a book signing and reception for Olympic icon and author John Carlos on Monday, February 13, 2012 at the California History Museum. Carlos was also presented with a Senate Resolution on the floor of the Senate earlier that day in recognition of Black History Month.
Hundreds were in attendance at the event where Carlos gave a spirited talk urging the audience to reach out to Black youth, offering guidance and support.
Carlos’ and Tommie Smith’s black-gloved raised fist salute on the 1968 Olympic podium was seen around the world and sparked a great deal of political and public controversy.
Carlos won the bronze-medal in the 200 meters race at the 1968 Summer Olympics. During the medal award ceremony, both athletes wore black socks and no shoes on the podium to protest African-American poverty in the United States.
Their show of defiance remains one of the most iconic images of Olympic history and the Black Power movement. Carlos tells his remarkable story in his new book, “The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World,” written with Dave Zirin and a foreword by Cornel West.
“John Carlos has never stopped running the race for social justice,” said Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. Chair of the Black Caucus. “We are privileged to honor this great American.”
Carlos is a founding member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights. After the 1968 Olympics, he went on to equal the world record in the 100 yard dash and beat the 200 meters world record. After his track career, he enjoyed brief stints in the National Football League and Canadian Football League but retired due to an injury.
He became involved with the United States Olympic Committee and helped to organize the 1984 Summer Olympics. He later became a track coach at a high school in Palm Springs, where he now resides. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2003 and the African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame (now Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame) in 2004.