Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Olympian John Carlos to appear at Northwest African American Museum Thursday night...

The Seattle area track & field community is invited to hear 1968 Mexico City Olympic 200 meter bronze medalist John Carlos (#9, photo courtesy speak and read from his new autobiography, The John Carlos Story, on Thursday, November 3rd at 7pm at the Northwest African American Museum, located at 2300 South Massachusetts Street in Seattle near I-90

In his illustrious career, Carlos, who competed for San Jose State University, went on to equal the world record in the 100 yard dash and beat the 200 meters world record (although the latter achievement was never ratified). In 2003, he was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame.

The raised black gloves and bowed heads in silent protest on the medal podium of Carlos and Olympic champion Tommie Smith remain one of the most vivid images of that generation.

Carlos will be joined by Dave Zirin, who writes and speaks about the politics of sports. UTNE Reader named him one of ”50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World” and Press Action has twice named him Sportswriter of the Year. Robert Lipsyte says he is “the best sportswriter in the United States.” He is author of Bad Sports: How Owners are Ruining the Games We Love published by Scribner, A People’s History of Sports in the United States, part of Howard Zinn’s People’s History series for the New Press, and others.

On his web site,, Zirin said about Carlos, "For years, as John said to me, even when their gesture was remembered with respect instead of derision, he felt like an Olympian in exile. "

"As he said to me in 2003, 'I don't feel embraced, I feel like a survivor, like I survived cancer. It's like if you are sick and no one wants to be around you, and when you're well everyone who thought you would go down for good doesn't even want to make eye contact. It was almost like we were on a deserted island. That's where Tommie Smith and John Carlos were. But we survived.'"

In describing the book, Zirin says, "The book as well has a message markedly different from typical sports memoirs, which are normally an exercise in: “Look how awesome I am. You can now proceed to genuflect.” Instead its thesis is that not everyone can run 100 yards in under nine seconds. But anyone can lead a committed life dedicated to principles of social justice. This is certainly a special moment in our collective people's history."

Carlos and Zirin have been on a national tour promoting the book for the last several weeks.

Here's a link to Seattle Times' columnist Jerry Brewer's piece on Carlos, posted on Wednesday.

Tickets for the event are $10/$8 students, and can be purchased via this link.

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