John Carlos and Dave Zirin: Not Just a Game and The John Carlos Story

Film Screening and Book Signing

Monday, October 3, 2011 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM EDT
Johnson Center, Cinema

Seen around the world, John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s Black Power salute on the 1968 Olympic podium sparked controversy and career fallout. Yet their show of defiance remains one of the most iconic images of Olympic history and the Black Power movement. The John Carlos Story reveals the remarkable journey of one of the men behind the salute, lifelong activist John Carlos.

John Carlos' story is one of several discussed in the documentary Not Just a Game, which argues against the cliché that sports and politics don't mix, that games are just games and athletes should just "shut up and play." Based on Dave Zirin's bestselling book The People's History of Sports in the United States, the film argues that far from providing merely escapist entertainment, American sports have long been at the center of some of the major political debates and struggles of our time. In a fascinating tour of the good, the bad, and the ugly of American sports culture, Zirin first traces how American sports have glamorized militarism, racism, sexism, and homophobia, then excavates a largely forgotten history of rebel athletes who stood up to power and fought for social justice beyond the field of play. The result is as deeply moving as it is exhilarating: nothing less than an alternative history of political struggle in the United States as seen through the games its people have played.

Following the film screening, Dave Zirin and John Carlos will take questions, as well as discuss (and sign) their new book, The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World

Sponsored by Film & Media Studies and African & African American Studies at George Mason University. 

Co-sponsored by Communication, Cultural Studies, English, History, the Honors College, Sport & American Culture, 
University Life, and Women and Gender Studies. 

Supported by the Multicultural Research & Resource Center.


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