San Jose, Ca — San Jose State University broke ground Friday on the setting for a 23-foot statue of Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their gloved fists high above their heads on the podium at the 1968 Olympics.
The two American track stars made the galvanizing gesture that gave the American civil rights movement international attention and made them heroes and targets of hatred.
Smith and Carlos are scheduled to receive honorary doctorates during San Jose State´s commencement Saturday.
In 1968, wearing black socks and no shoes to represent black poverty, the two raised their fists to symbolize black power while bowing their heads during the national anthem.
After their protest, Smith and Carlos were kicked out of the Olympic village and widely condemned.