West Oakland Mural Bulldozed

bayareaintifada

Original mural. Photo by Oaktown Art Original mural on Mandela Parkway. Photo by Oaktown Art

A familiar West Oakland mural (formerly on Mandela Parkway and 12th Street) commemorating the 1968 Olympics “power salute” was razed last week. In 1968, Olympic medal winners Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medalists in the 200m run, stood during the national anthem with their heads down and black-gloved fists raised.

At a press conference after the event Tommie Smith, who holds seven world records, said: “If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say ‘a Negro’. We are black and we are proud of being black.Black America will understand what we did tonight.”Smith said he had raised his right fist to represent black power in America, while Carlos raised his left fist to represent black unity. Together they formed an arch of unity and power.He…

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