Winner of the 2023 YALSA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction Award
Finalist for the 2022 National Book Award for Young People's Literature
A Coretta Scott King Award Author and Illustrator Honor Book
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Best Book of the Year
A Horn Book Fanfare Title
On October 16, 1968, during the medal ceremony at the Mexico City Olympics, Tommie Smith, the gold medal winner in the 200-meter sprint, and John Carlos, the bronze medal winner, stood on the podium in black socks and raised their black-gloved fists to protest racial injustice inflicted upon African Americans. Both men were forced to leave the Olympics, received death threats, and faced ostracism and continuing economic hardships.
In his first-ever memoir for young readers, Tommie Smith looks back on his childhood growing up in rural Texas through to his stellar athletic career, culminating in his historic victory and Olympic podium protest. Cowritten with Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Honor recipient Derrick Barnes and illustrated with bold and muscular artwork from Emmy Award–winning illustrator Dawud Anyabwile, Victory. Stand! paints a stirring portrait of an iconic moment in Olympic history that still resonates today.
With collaborators Barnes (I Am Every Good Thing) and Anyabwile (Becoming Muhammad Ali), Smith details his childhood leading up to his historic Olympic protest—and its aftermath—in this compelling graphic memoir. Before Smith, who is Black, was an Olympic gold medalist, he and his family of 14 lived in a house with "no running water. No central air-conditioning or heating." When he was seven, they relocated from Texas to California, where he faced racism from white classmates and school administrators before his white PE teacher Mr. Focht, described as a "good man," encouraged him to run track. Smith was eventually recruited by San José State University in 1963. Even as his career flourished, however, he couldn't ignore the racial violence surrounding him. Realizing he "had an obligation—not just to carry the banner of San José State" but "to carry an even larger banner for my people," Smith raised a fist while on the podium at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Anyabwile's grayscale art features kinetically illustrated athletic competition, tense racial dynamics, and a large, intricately detailed Black family. Smith's timely story, whose nonlinear timeline highlights both prominent events during the civil rights movement and Smith's interpersonal struggles, is a powerful celebration of resistance. Ages 13–up.