Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith

Front Cover
Temple University Press, May 28, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
2 Reviews

n 1968, Tommie Smith and his teammate John Carlos won the gold and silver medals, respectively, for the 200 meter dash.  Receiving their medals on the dais, they raised their fists and froze a moment in time that will forever be remembered as a powerful day of protest.  In this, his autobiography, Smith tells the story of that moment, and of his life before and after it, to explain what that moment meant to him. 

In Silent Gesture, Smith recounts his life before and after the 1968 Olympics: his life-long commitment to athletics, education, and human rights.  He dispels some of the myths surrounding his and Carlos' act on the dais -- contrary to legend, Smith wasn't a member of the Black Panthers, but a member of the US Olympic Project for Human Rights -- and describes in detail the planning and risks involved in his protest.  Smith also details his many years after Mexico City of devotion to human rights, athletics, and education.  A unique resource for anyone concerned with international sports, history, and the African American experience, Silent Gesture contributes a complete picture of one of the most famous moments in sports history, and of a man whose actions always matched his words.

What people are saying - Write a review

Silent Gesture: autobiography for Tommie Smith

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Although this book, written with the help ofBaltimore Sun columnist Steele, may go down as an important entry in the history of track and field and African American studies, it is not without its ... Read full review

Review: Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith

User Review  - Marc - Goodreads

I gave this 3 books, because I thought it was truly a moving story about courage and sacrifice. It some way it is really scary that these kind of things happened in the "freest country of the world ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Dr. Tommie Smith is the only man in track and field history to hold eleven world records simultaneously, and the first man in Olympic Game history to win a gold medal in record-breaking time in the 200-meter, under 20 seconds. He has been an educator, and track and field coach for 40 years.

David Steele is a sports columnist for The Baltimore Sun.

Bibliographic information