A Great Day in Poetry
450 International youth poetry slam champions, Olympian John Carlos and former San Jose State Associated Students Executive Director, Alfonso de Alba convened at the base of Rigo23’s sculpture, Victory Stand, on San José State’s Campus.
Lead artist Jessica Tully along with Youth Speaks staff, Hodari Davis, Chinaka Hodge, and Executive Director James Kass, orchestrated this convening and designed the Limited Edition Youth Speaks POET Jacket (Blue Marlin Company) as a contemporary replica of the 1968 USA Olympic Track and Field Team Uniform legends John Carlos and Tommie Smith wore during their famous human rights demonstration on the victory stand at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
These record setting Olympians were living in the Bay Area as students at San José State University and on the school’s fierce “Speed City” track team at the time of the planning and implementation of this action.
Two editions of the jacket were fabricated. One was designed for and distributed free of charge to all 450 youth poetry champions and their coaches at the Youth Speaks 10th Annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival,
San José, CA, 2007. A second version, entitled POET Jacket, was created for Youth Speaks as a benefit in collaboration with Blue Marlin Company.