This article considers the ways in which Australian athlete Peter Norman is presented and represented through the famous photograph of the 1968 Mexico City Olympic games “Black Power” salute. Photographic images are not simple, neutral, or objective records of the past; various material acts influence and affect the ways images are interpreted and read. This article will explore the materiality of the 1968 photograph with particular reference to Peter Norman, who is at different times, and in varying ways, both obscured and emphasized. A materiality approach contributes to understandings of the potential importance of photographs as sources. Most typically, photographs have been used by sport historians as decorative complements to verbal text. Borrowing from recent theoretical work on photographic materiality, by anthropologists and geographers in particular, this article sees photographs as supplementary to the written word, and offering new insights into how knowledge about the past is produced.

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