Black History: Special Delivery!!
Today we are sharing 7 little known facts about the life of the incomparable Muhammad Ali who died on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74.
- Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay. He was named at birth after an abolitionist. When he converted to the Muslim faith, he changed his name initially to Cassius X. At the time, Ali, was also good friends with Malcolm X. When Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam, Cassius X decided to change his name to show that chose to remain loyal to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad rather than following Malcolm X. In 1964, he changed to Muhammad Ali
- Ali inspired Sylvester Stallone to make “Rocky”. Ali fought a little known boxer, Chuck Wepner. Ali did beat Wepner, but it took him the full 15 rounds. Wepner was recognized for his grit in going the distance with the champ. Rocky’s opponent, “Apollo Creed” was inspired by Ali.
- He never turned down an autograph request. As a young boy he was denied an autograph by Sugar Ray Robinson. He vowed that should he become famous he would never deny his fans. He even had a special P.O. Box for anyone wanting an autograph.
- He used to race the school bus. Instead of “riding” the bus, he “raced” the bus to school as a child in Louisville, KY.
- He threw away his gold medal. Ali won a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics. He wore the medal frequently. When he was refused service at a restaurant because of his race, he then threw his Gold medal into the Ohio River stating that he would not wear in a country where he would be denied service.
- A stolen bicycle launched is boxing career. When he was 12, his new bike was stolen. When he went to the police station to report the bike stolen, he met an officer there who introduced him to boxing. He also vowed that he was going “whip” whoever stole his bike. However the bike was never found.
- He recorded an album. In 1963, he made of recording of Ben E. King’s, “Stand By Me”. It was released in 1964 by Columbia Records. The recording was part of Ali’s, “I Am The Greatest” spoken-word album.
June 5, 2016 at 12:48 am
Wonderful post! Sadly, we just lost the “People’s Champion”, a man among men. He had the awareness to stand up for his rights, as a human, citizen, and a Black man! He was the greatest, and may he rest in peace, surrounded by other “greats”, friends, and loved ones, too!
June 5, 2016 at 6:39 am
Yes. He was unapologetic and refused to compromise. He became beloved by the mainstream media when he became “silent”. These same outlets weren’t so fond of him when his voice loomed loud and strong. He leaves a POWERFUL legacy!
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June 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm
There is a certain strength of character that he possessed that serves as an example to us all: stand up for your beliefs, no matter what! It’s empowering.
June 5, 2016 at 2:43 pm
Yes it. A true role model on so many levels
June 5, 2016 at 12:50 am
Missed your presence, BlackMail…..Can’t wait for the next one!
June 5, 2016 at 6:36 am
Thank you! Took a little hiatus! But I’m back.