Thursday, 25 September 2014

America's Association with Liberty

1. The 'Black Power' salute of the 1968 summer Olympics. Tommie Smith (centre), Peter Norman (left) and John Carlos (right)

African American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised a black gloved fist and bowed their heads during the American national anthem after winning gold and bronze medals in the 200m sprint in the 1968 summer Olympics, sparking either outrage or hope in their fellow Americans.
Both Smith and Carlos wore a black glove and black socks with no shoes to symbolize black unity and black poverty in racist America; Smith also wore a black scarf symbolizing black pride, although contradictory to popular belief the silent protest was not a gesture of 'black power' but it was a 'human rights salute' aiming to bring attention to the inequality in the country at the time.
I believe that this image affirms the association between America and liberty. Although at the time their protest caused mass controversy within the country; for two African American men to stand in front of their country and the world to show that the civil rights movement had not gone far enough was brave and valiant and protests such as this have guided and built America into a more equal and openly diverse country.

2. Liberty vs. Anarchy
To me, this image negates the association between America and liberty. The American government are slowly becoming more and more oppressive and some people would argue that they are taking away some of their constitutional and human rights and that their freedom is being infringed upon. However without government and laws there would be anarchy which proposes the idea of semi-freedom; doing as you wish within the set boundaries without taking 'liberties'.

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