Puma Creates BHM Sneakers in Honor of Iconic Olympic Sprinter Tommie Smith

Image #: 13530908 American athletes Tommie Smith (middle, gold medal) and John Carlos (right, bronze medal) at the Award Ceremony for the 200m race at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, October 16, 1968. The Olympics Black Power salute was a notable black power protest and one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympic Games. DPA/LANDOV
American athletes Tommie Smith (middle) and John Carlos (right) at the Award Ceremony for the 200m race at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, October 16, 1968. (Photo: DPA/LANDOV)

The image above is a powerful one. This black power salute is embedded in our history. In 1968 Olympics athletes Tommie Smith (gold) and John Carlos (bronze) made history during the Olympic games in Mexico City. With the world watching the sprinters stood on the medal podium and raised their black-gloved fists in the air in silent protest for human rights and for black Americans to stand in solidarity.

It’s that powerful image that was the inspiration for Puma’s capsule collection honoring Tommie Smith and Black History Month. What I didn’t realize is that gold medalist Tommie Smith removed his suede Pumas right before he stepped onto the podium shoeless in black socks, to represent poverty and slavery.  After that subtle statement, he then raised his fist.  With that unmistakable gesture, Tommie Smith altered the course of history and dedicated his life to change. Emblazoned with Tommie Smith’s silhouette, with fist raised, the Black History Month Pack honors a legacy on the track and off. I must applaud Puma for honoring this hero.

Yara Shalhidi and Tommie Smith at the Puma and Sheikh Shoes Launch Celebration at Mastro’s Beverly Hills
Yara Shalhidi and Tommie Smith at the Puma and Sheikh Shoes Launch Celebration at Mastro’s Beverly Hills (Photo credit: Charles Jim-George)

puma

Check out Puma’s Black History Month Collection here:

http://us.puma.com/en_US/men/featured/black-history-month

Sheikh Shoes:

http://www.shiekhshoes.com/m-9-puma.aspx

For more about the 1968 Olympic Black Power Salute:

http://time.com/3880999/black-power-salute-tommie-smith-and-john-carlos-at- the-1968-olympics/

Lesa Lakin GBN Lifestyle
Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle

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