Malcolm x and muhammad ali book

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malcolm x and muhammad ali book

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Time elides the complexity of icons. When Cassius Clay won gold at the Olympics in Rome, he adhered to the script for athletes of the era — be humble, praise your opponents, let your skills do the talking. African American athletes, particularly boxers, were heedful of this unwritten code. They had to be. During his reign as heavyweight champion , black boxer Jack Johnson infuriated the white world by living opulently, taunting outclassed white opponents, and worst of all, flaunting his relationships with white women. Beneath his polite demeanor, Clay seethed at the constant reminders of second-class status — the police harassment, the segregated hotels and clubs.
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Deeply examined and enthrallingly written, the authors explore how both legacies' involvement in the realms of race, politics and religion have coalesced to transform the world since the raging s. Cassius stretched his neck as he watched an honor guard escort Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm, and other officials onto the speaker's platform. When Malcolm finished, Muhammad, the featured speaker, rose from his large chair, like a royal descending from his throne, and walked over to the lectern. Muhammad condemned the Los Angeles police for murdering Ronald Stokes and reminded his parents, the honored guests, that their son did not die in vain. Muhammad demanded a separate state where blacks could live independently from whites. Malcolm sat just a few feet away from him, nodding with approval as he listened.

Basic Books. There is today a thriving industry of hagiography on Muhammad Ali. As early as his high school years, Cassius Clay had been intrigued by the Nation of Islam. For African-Americans, the Nation represented a militant alternative to picket lines, fire hoses and attack dogs. How did this hostile-to-paranoid worldview attract the people-loving boxer who was bankrolled by a lily-white investment group?

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