Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
September 15, 2016

What’s Already Incredible about the African-American History Museum

A statue depicting USA track and field athletes Tommie Smith, C, and John Carlos, R, as they raised gloved fists during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics is housed in the Sports Galleries at the #Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African American History and Culture, #NMAAHC, on September 14, 2016, in Washington, DC. All three of these sprinters, including Australian #PeterNorman, left, wore #HumanRights badges on their jackets.

Do you know what’s already incredible about the Smithsonian’s African-American History Museum?

Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (No. 94) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (No. 18) stood with fists in the air during the national anthem. photo via SBNation.

Prior to Sunday Night Football, Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett and safety Devin McCourty also raised their fists after the national anthem. photo via SBNation.

The history is not even history.

From Carlos and Smith to Kaepernick, amidst countless other cultural examples, the dynamic of this museum, relative to the ongoing struggles in American over African-American civil rights, is already poignant to observe.

I have a thousand questions just about the Mexico City statue. One of the first is, if we see this much resentment toward black NFL players currently protesting during the National Anthem (1, 2), can we assume the same number of Americans hold the same kind of antipathy toward Smith and Carlos, and to the same degree? And the answer is troubling either way.

Thought I’d also just share this reaction to the protest from Cincinnati Bengal player, Tyler Eifert. Did someone say: “rocket’s red glare?”


(photo 1: uncredited From EverydayBlackAmerica/Instagram. caption: A statue depicting USA track and field athletes Tommie Smith, C, and John Carlos, R, as they raised gloved fists during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Summer Olympics is housed in the Sports Galleries at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, on September 14, 2016, in Washington, DC. All three of these sprinters, including Australian Peter Norman, left, wore Human Rights badges on their jackets. photo 2 via SBNation. caption: Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (No. 94) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (No. 18) stood with fists in the air during the national anthem. photo 3 via SBNation. caption: Prior to Sunday Night Football, Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett and safety Devin McCourty also raised their fists after the national anthem. photo via SBNation.)

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