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Tuesday
Aug212012

a change is gonna come


Sam Cooke - A change is gonna come by hopto

One of the proposals for On Site 28: sound is about recording studios and their particular qualities of surface and such.  Sam Cooke was mentioned.

We were in English in grade 9 and Judy Butler who sat behind me told me Sam Cooke had died.  This 1963 song, A Change is Gonna Come, sat, and still sits, at the heart of the Civil Rights movement.   

1963 was an important year: Martin Luther King wrote 'Letter from Birmingham Jail', the 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed in Birmingham and four little girls were killed, King's 'I Have a Dream' speech was made in Washington, Medgar Evers was murdered.  Not until the formation of the Black Panthers in 1967 did black power begin to overtake black faith that a change was going to come.

And, still thinking of things Olympic, it was at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City that the 200m gold and bronze medalists, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, shared a pair of black gloves and made their stand for human rights.  Last night on the Radio Australia's Asia Pacific Report, there was a piece about the silver medalist, Australian Peter Norman, who also wore a human rights badge in solidarity and was subsequently reprimanded by the AOC and not sent to any further Olympic games. His 1968 200m record of 20.06 seconds still stands in Australia.  Evidently there is a debate in the Australian Parliament about apologising to him, although he died in 2006. 

Why do people wait until someone dies, before their time in this case - he was only 64, before admitting they treated them badly? 

Peter Norman, Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the podium as the US anthem was playing, at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. They all wore the badge of the Olympic Committee for Human Rights, OCHR.

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