Killer Mike Interviews Iconic Olympian Tommie Smith
Killer Mike sits down with former track and field star Tommie Smith for a conversation regarding the circumstances surrounding his iconic black power salute with John Carlos atop the medal podium at the 1968 Summer Olympics. The video begins with a written statement from Killer Mike giving a brief summary of how the sit-down came about, which reads:
"This past Friday, January 15, I got a call from my man, Frank the Butcher, who said Tommie Smith was in Atlanta promoting his Black History Month collaboration with Puma and if I wanted to, could meet up and talk to him. So I got my tired ass out of the bed and headed over to my shop to have a once in a lifetime meeting. This is part of the exchange."
As the actual clip begins, Killer Mike is recounting his memory of being introduced to the legend of Tommie Smith while sitting in his barbershop and it's clear that he holds the transcendent Olympian in high regard. He gets Tommie Smith to explain the meaning of the circular patch that all three medalists - including Peter Norman, the Australian silver medalist that often gets overlooked when speaking of the historic moment - wore in solidarity with the Olympic Project for Human Rights and the fact that Norman also faced criticism similar to Carlos and Smith back in his home country.
Tommie Smith also gives his thoughts on the progress we've made in terms of racial discrimination, stating "The optimal way to get to society at its highest point is togetherness. And we don’t have to be talking about the issues in the same words, but on the same platform. Dr. King and Malcolm X were talking the same principle of freedom but they used using different actions to get there. But they were both killed because of getting to the same place differently."
This 22 minute conversation is an eye-opening exchange between two soldiers of the same struggle from different generations and is certainly worth the watch.
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