Review of Wellness Program Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

1968 Olympics Black Power Salute

Black Power Salute (Dominis, 1968)

Photograph Description and Context

The picture is a black and white photo that was taken at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Two Olympics sprinters stood atop the podium wearing the gold and bronze medals. Their names are Tommie Smith and John Carlos. They are shown holding their first in the air as an expression of solidarity with the Black Power movement. It is argued that they are expressing their disillusionment with a nation that so often fell behind, and still does, relative to racial equality (Dominis, 1968).

The two individuals received significant negative reaction to their expression. For example, they were suspended from the U.S. Track team. They were vilified at home and they even later received death threats for their public display. Yet, the picture has become one of the iconic photographs from this period that deals with racial inequality in the United States. This analysis will provide an overview of the environment in which this famous iconic picture was taken as well as discuss the photos significance within this framework.

Racism has been one of the defining features of the United States ever since the country was founded and racial inequality has long been an issue in the American society. Despite making substantial progress in creating a more racially equal society, there are still many issues involving race and discrimination that can be found today. Some of the most fundamental problems that minorities still face today in the United States deal primarily with finding equal opportunity in the workplace and in society in general. Because minorities are not able to find equal employment opportunities, even today, there are a number of subsidiary consequences. However, the problem cannot be isolated to economic explanations alone. On July 16th, 2009, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University returned to his home after a trip in Africa only to find that he had misplaced the key to his home in Cambridge, MA (Staples, 2009). Despite Dr. Gates Jr. being a successful and respected member of his community, he was still treated as a criminal on the basis of his skin color. Such examples illustrate how race affects individuals in society today. The Black Power Movement also was a response to such issues. Yet these issues were even more pressing in the 1960s and 1970s.

History of Discrimination

The first attempt to integrate African-Americans into American society was arguably the Reconstruction Period. Despite the initial goals of the legislative acts, African-Americans faced a significant antagonism from many whites in the south who did not agree to the new freedoms for the former slaves. The first and arguably most significant step move towards a more equal and free society was the 13th amendment to the Constitution. The underlying purpose of 13th and 14th amendments as well as the civil rights act of 1866 was to officially designate African-Americans citizens by abolishing slavery and granting new freedoms for the former slaves. However, these laws were more symbolic than actually improving the quality of life of African-Americans.

Democrats responded with a growing trend of Jim Crow laws in 1877 which were crafted to segregate the blacks so that they would have limited interaction with whites. In 1909 there the practice of lynching in many mostly southern states led to the formation…

Sources Used in Document:


Dominis, J. (1968). John Dominis Collection. Retrieved from Photographers Gallery:

Staples, R. (2009). White Power, Black Crime, and Racial Politics. The Black Scholar, 31-41.

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