Re-introduce Yourself To Black Olympic Icons Flo-Jo And Tommie Smith, Honored By Jay-Z And Beyonce

Re-introduce Yourself To Black Olympic Icons Flo-Jo And Tommie Smith, Honored By Jay-Z And Beyonce

Here's how the Carters gave this new generation a Black Excellence sports history lesson.

Published November 2, 2018

Beyonce and Jay-Z may have just given an unexpected Black history lesson for Halloween. This year, the power couple paid homage to 1980s Olympic track icons Florence "Flo-Jo" Griffith-Joyner and Tommie Smith with two of the best costumes we’ve ever seen.


Beyonce went with Flo-Jo’s 1988 iconic one-legged leotard ensemble. During this year, the Olympic sprinter set world records for the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, which still remain unchallenged.

Meanwhile, Jay-Z recreated Smith's famous Black Power salute from the 1968 Mexico City Games, wherein he and John Carlos raised their fists during the medal ceremony and playing of the national anthem.

For a generation of people unfamiliar with these infamous Black athletes, Beyonce and Jay-Z just gave them a reason to do their homework.

When it comes to Flo-Jo, she was one of the first Black athletes who unapologetically put the culture on full display. From her thick hair and long acrylic nails, to her flashy uniforms and bold jewelry that she wore during events, Flo-Jo brought hip-hop fashion to a global stage.

And let’s say it again for the people in the back, Flo-Jo’s world records are still standing.

Tommie Smith's Black Power salute, was viewed as a political statement inappropriately displayed during a time meant to bring the world together. The move was applauded by the Black community but ultimately led to Smith and teammate John Carlos being expelled from the United States track team.

Needless to say, Jay-Z and Beyonce had everyone shook by their historically accurate costumes.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photos from left: Steve Powell/Getty Images /John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)


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