John Carlos, Ph. D. Oral History Interview

Subject of
Civil Rights History Project, American, founded 2009
Interview of
Carlos, John Wesley Ph. D., American, born 1945
Interviewed by
Cline, David P. Ph. D., American, born 1969
Subject of
Garvey, Marcus, Jamaican, 1887 - 1940
X, Malcolm, American, 1925 - 1965
Dr. King, Martin Luther Jr., American, 1929 - 1968
East Texas State University, American, founded 1889
Smith, Tommie, American, born 1944
Created by
Olympic Project for Human Rights, American, 1967 - 1968
August 18, 2013
Duration: 02:06:42
The oral history consists of nine digital files: 2011.174.103.1a, 2011.174.103.1b, 2011.174.103.1c, 2011.174.103.1d, 2011.174.103.1e, 2011.174.103.1f, 2011.174.103.1g, 2011.174.103.1h, 2011.174.103.1i.
John Carlos, Ph. D. discusses his childhood in Harlem, New York, the changes that he saw in Harlem with the widespread use of heroin and the splintering of families, and describes the disparities in education for black children when he was growing up. He remembers the influence of black leaders including Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Carlos was recruited to run track at East Texas State University, where he experienced racial discrimination and was treated poorly by his coach. He explains his protest at the 1968 Olympics, including the symbols that he and Tommie Smith employed to protest racial discrimination, and he describes the emotional impact that the protest had on him.
LOC ID: afc2010039_crhp0103
Place collected
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted
Harlem, New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Mexico City, Mexico, Latin America, North and Central America
Collection title
Civil Rights History Project
Media Arts-Film and Video
video recordings
oral histories
digital media - born digital
American South
Civil rights
Race discrimination
Race relations
Social reform
Track and field
United States--History--1961-1969
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in partnership with the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
© Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture and The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress