Furman University Oral Histories

Streaming Media


Video interview with Dr. Tommie Smith, former track & field athlete, NFL wide receiver, coach, and professor. In the 1968 Summer Olympics, after winning gold, Tommie Smith raised his fist on the podium to show solidarity with people fighting for human rights in the United States and internationally. In this 2008 interview, Dr. Smith begins talking about how running has always been a part of his life. He tells of being a child of poor farmers in Texas during the 1940's, moving to California at age 6, and of a life of hard work and church. He discusses becoming interested in civil rights in college during the 1960's. Dr. Smith goes into detail about his experience during the 1968 Summer Olympics, the decision to raise his fist on the vicotry podium, and the response he faced afterwards.

Scholarship Type

Faculty Scholarship

Publication Date


City and State

Greenville (S.C.)


Smith, Tommie, 1944-; Olympic athletes; Olympic Games (19th : 1968 : Mexico City, Mexico); Civil rights United States History;




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Tommie Smith Oral History

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