Shantrelle P. Lewis’s Photos
”Silence is also a form of speech.” ~ Fulani Proverb
With my interests in race, sport, politics, and the 1968 Olympic protests, how could this powerful, timely visual composition not catch my eye? (It was sent to me by Professor Ron Greene in the Communications department here at Minnesota.) Just last Friday, my graduate students and I were talking about the social consciousness and political voice of athletes in America, and I told them that I always think of the 1968 Olympic victory stand demonstration as a preeminent example of how athletes’ most effective mode of speaking is with their bodies and through their actions. In my book, I point out that Tommie Smith (the gold medalist who was at the center of it all) didn’t comment publicly about the gesture for almost 20 years—in effect forcing everyone else moved by his actions to talk on his terms. Kudos to the Miami Heat for following in this tradition (their image seems to be everywhere right now), and to Shantrelle Lewis for calling out the parallels.
For sociological perspective and relevant research on the Tryvon Martin controversy and coverage itself, see: Jeff Dowd’s recent rich post on our TSP Community Page Sociology Lens: Disembodied Racism and the Search for Racist Intent: The Trayvon Martin Case.