With the London 2012 Olympic Games only days away and the world awaiting a new crop of history-making athletes, it seems only appropriate to take a look back at the “game changing” events of the Olympiad some forty-four years ago. It was the summer of 1968 at the 19th Olympic Games in Mexico City and Tommie Smith, a young man from Clarksville, Texas, had just shattered the world record in the 200 meters. Afterwards, as Smith received his gold medal, he literally took a stand for social justice by raising a black, leather gloved-fist to the sky as a symbolic gesture to represent the struggle for human rights. Smith’s iconic stance continued long after the games and he dedicated his life, sometimes at great personal risk, to champion the cause of oppressed people everywhere.
So where is Dr. Tommie Smith now and what’s he doing? That was the question on our minds so we sent Shaka Jamal Redmond, our Oakland-based Game Changer Fellow to find out. The result is the following micro-documentary about the legendary athlete and his partnership with 100 Black Men of America, Inc. to produce the Tommie Smith Youth Movement, a program designed to improve the overall health and well-being of youth through structured physical fitness training, wholesome food choices, character development, and mentoring, especially crucial to young black males.
Watch this amazing short film and learn what a difference we can make for future generations when we just take a stand.
To learn more about the work of Shaka Jamal Redmond and the Game Changers Project, please visit: gamechangersproject.org
The GAME CHANGERS PROJECT is a national fellowship program for emerging Black filmmakers in partnership with non-profits dedicated to improving outcomes for males of color. We tell our own stories and help others tell theirs. To learn more, please visit: gamechangersproject.org