I was just reading about this during a wiki binge on Olympics incidents and did a little research on it. I never knew how deep the message was that Smith and Carlos were trying to send. Just about everything they wore and how they wore it had symbolism attached to it. (unzipped tracksuits for solidarity with blue collar workers, necklace of beads for lynching victims, etc) Calling it a “black power salute” is really reductive and it’s a shame (and predictable) that if it’s taught at all, that’s what it’s boiled down to.
Another thing I didn’t know: the Australian guy who came in second wore a patch for solidarity with them, he was protesting racist Australian immigration policies. When he passed away, Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral.
Gives me happy chills everytime I see this, including the day it happened even though I was too young to understand it, I just knew it was a good thing.