June 05, 2014

On this day June 5th

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles

On this day

June 5, 1945 Olympic track and field star John Carlos born in New York City. John Carlos would become famous at the 1968 Olympic Summer Games for raising a black-gloved fist during the playing of the American anthem.

As a youth growing up in Harlem, New York, John Carlos was a gifted athlete and student whose influences and sense of hard work and determination were instilled by his mother and father. It was a local police officer who first prompted a young John to pursue Track and Field as more than just a game of chase with the neighborhood kids. Dr. Carlos credits scholastic encouragement and organized athletics, along with community minded mentors, for keeping him focused, out of trouble, and the foundation for his drive to achieve and succeed.

Following the controversial 1968 Olympic medal ceremony, all three athletes suffered lingering effects of their gesture, the most serious of which were death threats against Carlos, Smith, and their families. Contrary to reports, Carlos and Smith were not stripped of their medals. Carlos drew upon the founding principle of all athletes, perseverance and personal strength, as he strode forward through his career and in his pursuit to make a difference for the future of all people. Carlos went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, the Canadian Football League, worked with Puma, the United States Olympic Committee, the Organizing Committee of the 1984 Summer Olympics, and the City of Los Angeles. Since 1985, Dr. Carlos has been a counselor, in-school suspension supervisor, and the track and field coach at Palm Springs High School in California.

Continuing his life-long mission to improve human rights conditions and to increase chances for the successes of our youth, Dr. Carlos is actively involved with global and community movements. In April of 2008, he once again took to the international stage and was a torch-bearer for the Human Rights Torch, which ran in parallel to the 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay, and focused attention on China’s human rights record. In July of the same year, Dr. Carlos accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for his salute at the 2008 Espy Awards.

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