-This page acknowledges the artifacts that our group constructed. Below are the pictures of the artifacts along with a summary of their significance in sports and civil rights history..........

Field of Racial Slurs.
This artifact was chosen because it symbolizes the racial slurs and prejudice that athletes in all sports had to endure. We placed the slurs in the crowd to represent the verbal abuse Americans were using against African Americans and others of color. This artifact also shows the discipline and courage that African Americans needed in order to withstand the negative comments. Their nonviolent show of support against racial taunts, has helped to a greater understanding of how terrible racial comments and stereotypes can be.

Tommie Smith's black glove fist
Tommie Smith and John Carlo’s “silent gesture,” or raising of the black gloves is a symbol of black power, liberation and solidarity. After Tommie’s first place and Carlos’ second place finishes at the 1968 Olympics, they raised their fists on the podium with the goal of speaking about civil rights to Americans. Our artifact is the black fist raised by Tommie Smith. We chose this artifact because it signifies the nonviolent ideals first created by Gandhi and MLK Jr. In a pod cast, Tommie Smith says he could never have imagined the extraordinary impact his action has had on sports today. What Smith and Carlos did transformed the way people look at African Americans and others of color. Perhaps, they will be remembered more for their “silent gesture” than their victories at the 1968 Olympics. Today, at San Jose State University, there is a statue of Tommie Smith in his honor

John Shippen news
The newspaper article about John Shippen is an important and influencial piece of sports and Civil Rights history. When newspapers around the country released this story, the American people realized that blacks could compete with whites in golf at any level. Shippen proved to people that regardless of your skin color or race, you should be treated equally and given the same opportunities. What attracted people to Shippen’s story in the papers was his amazing effort at the 1896 U.S. Open. After fellow pros competing in the Open protested Shippen’s involvement because of skin color, the USGA was forced to step in. Even with all the racial remarks toward Shippen, he was able to continue his golfing career and become the first African American pro golfer. Shippen put these negative remarks aside, and played to a first round score of 78, tying him for the lead. Even though Shippen didn’t win, he left a far more important mark at the 1896 U.S. Open. Newspapers like these gave Shippen more exposer and let the American people know of Shippen’s remarkable effort. Today, his mark on the sport of golf has led other athletes like Tiger Woods and Vijah Sing to participate at the pro level.

Jesse Owens gold medal from 1936 Olympics

In the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics, Jesse Owens won four gold medals in Track and Field. More importantly he proved to the world that the ideas that Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler promoted were wrong and unfair. Hitler believed that German athletes would dominate the field and prove to the world the superiority of white athletes. He believed blacks were inferior and could not compete with whites. On August 3, 1936, the day the Olympics began, Owens won the 100m sprint. The next day he followed with a victory in the long jump. His 3rd medal came when he won the 200m sprint. He followed that by winning his 4th and final medal in the 4x100 meter relay. This medal is a significant piece of sports and civil rights history. Overcoming racism, Owens proved to the world that whites were not superior to blacks and that people of color could compete in any sport.

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Jackie Robinson contract.
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Jackie Robinson's contract is a significant artifact in baseball and civil rights history. On August 28, 1945, Robinson was signed by Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Dodgers to a minor league contract. This contract has significance because it represents Jackie Robinsons extraordinary talent and his breaking of baseballs color barrier. After he was signed, Robinson went on to win 1947 rookie of the year and 1949 NL MVP. More importantly, Robinsons transformed the civil rights movement in the U.S. He persevered through all discrimination and has left a legacy on African Americans today that can’t be matched.