By Jueseppi B.
Tommie Smith (born June 6, 1944) is an African American former track & field athlete and wide receiver in the American Football League. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, Smith won the 200-meter dash finals in 19.83 seconds – the first time the 20 second barrier was broken. His Black Power salute with John Carlos atop the medal podium caused controversy at the time as it was seen as politicizing the Olympic Games. It remains a symbolic moment in the history of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
Tommie Smith, the seventh of his family’s twelve children, was born in Clarksville, Texas on 12th June, 1944. His father was a sharecropper and as a child used to pick cotton at local farms to help with the family finances. The family moved to California and while attending Lemoore High School
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