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Fist Cause Button Museum
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Fist button back Cause Button Museum
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Illustration of a fist

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The symbolic meaning of the raised fist is that of unity and power, meaning that with fist in the face of opposition, the oppressed group is together and strong. It is documented that the Jewish community used the raised fist in protest of fascist sentiment in 1936. The raised fist was also used was at the summer Olympic games in Mexico, 1968. African-American track and field stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos stated that the Civil Rights movement was now in a passive stage and incomplete with more to be done, raising their fists to signal others stood behind that idea. Nelson Mandela also raised his fist when he was released from prison in 1990. The raised fist has also been associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.


“The History of the Raised Fist, a Global Symbol of Fighting Oppression.” National Geographic , 31 July 2020,

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