It remains one of the most iconic photographs in sporting history. Heads bowed, black-gloved fists raised aloft, on a sweltering hot night in Mexico City, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos propelled themselves into the history books.
The image still resonates with quiet dignity and a palpable rage that is almost shocking to behold, especially in these politically neutered times. We live in an age of bland sporting automata, steeped in the language of PR, super-aware of their salaried roles as ambassadors of Nike, Adidas and Reebok, and afraid of saying or doing anything that might alienate their sponsors.
I love photography. Love seeing ‘people of colour’ captured in strong black and white images. Love fearless form and clarity in pictures. Love perfect composition, and seeing thinking outside of the box, photographically speaking, I mean.
So here I am in Ghana in the middle of the night with no one to meet me because the London Heathrow to Accra flight is twelve hours late.
“Irie, Rasta man!”, says the tallest of the taxi drivers trying to handle my luggage outside the gates of Katoka International Airport.