folks owe this man, Muhammad Ali so much . . . never was so very
much owed by so very many … to merely one man.
nothing else, if for nothing
we Black Americans, actually Black folks around the world, for all
times, for eternity we will owe Ali for these words- understanding
the pen is mightier than the sword, or the boxing glove; “My
conscience won't let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people,
or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And
shoot them for what? They
never called me nigger,
they never lynched me, they didn't put no dogs on me, they didn't rob
me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. ... Shoot
them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to
sorry, but those words strung together have as much relevance,
meaning and impact today as they did half a century ago.
like a butterfly and sting like a bumble bee,” going
far beyond and eclipsing “ I have a dream.” You’ll
hear bits n’ pieces of that quote, but seldom if ever will hear
it in it’s entirety because there's strength power and pride in
Ali’s words. Those words still make me mad and scare the hell
out of White folks. Ali’s thought’s represent an
awakening White folks never want us to have. Never.
please, let’s not be delusional here in this blue moment; White
America hated Ali. Let’s be honest here - it took years, and
the humbling effects of Parkinson to defang and render harmless Ali
in the eyes of White men, let's just be real. They hated Ali because
he dared to look them the eye and tell the burning bush truth. Over
the last few days, seeing and hearing the champ articulate the plight
of Black folk and other folks of color, repeatedly, brought a tear
to my eye and made me swell up with pride.
am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me.
Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours;
my goals, my own; get used to me.
and notable Blacks could be, ought be saying some of the same things.
The times, and White folks hearts n’ minds haven’t
really changed that much - yet we don’t hear anything like
Ali’s uncut, unfiltered sharp, blunt comments coming from the
Negroes on the Democratic plantation, the NBA or NFL. Instead we
hear moderation and restraint - in a time where the Klan’s man,
Emperor Trump is one-step from the Black House.
Tiger, Barkley, Bonds . .. the list of weak athletes is endless -
there’s not a ebony gladiator who’s come along since the
1970’s who could carry this man’s jock. How tragic is
that? I hope guys like Jordan and Tiger don’t show up at Ali’s
funeral - it would be akin to blasphemy for these money-hungry pawns
to have the audacity to want to honor this man, the greatest, while
their silence and inaction in the face of continued, entrenched
social injustice shamed Ali’s efforts.
sports-world minstrels contradicted and defied Ali’s words;
not gonna help nobody get something my Negroes don't have. If I'm
gonna die, I'll die now right here fighting you, if I'm gonna die.
You my enemy. My enemies are white people, not Vietcongs or Chinese
or Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when
I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. You won't even
stand up for me in America for my religious beliefs, and you want me
to go somewhere and fight, but you won't even stand up for me here at
here we Black folks are today fighting the White man’s wars for
him, killing people of color all around the world. . . as a career
While police brutality, economic betrayal and educational abandonment
has left Black America in a state of deep depression.
was the “definition” and “illustration” of a
strong, proud intelligent Black man. He personified “Black is
beautiful,” while he embodied the prolific, intimidating idiom
“Black Power!” After all, when he meet Smokin' Joe
Frazier in Madison Square Garden in their first of three epic
matches, Joe was the undisputed “White man’s champion.”
As was ol’ glory waving George Foreman Ali was the Black man’s
champion, the Brown man’s champion, the Red and Yellow people’s
champion. But Let's be clear, Ali wasn’t the White’ man’s
champion, boy nor Uncle Tom.
sole, lone factor, Ali’s
tell the White man, tell America, in a time of internal social
upheaval, in a time of war that he wouldn’t go-along to
get-along this act was unprecedented and powerful. Ali’s
rejection of his slave name, his slave religion . . . his defiance of
the draft...these “stands” are to me, is as powerful
moment as any speech Dr. King ever gave.
speaks louder than words. Ali was man of defiant action. By not going
to Vietnam, to “strike” on demand, by not doing this
bloody empire’s dirty work. Ali made it clear he wasn’t
that quiet, humble, docile, mindless killing machine which attacks
only when his massa instructs him to. Ali defiantly lived,
demonstrated, and endured, as did Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, and
Angela Davis - because he made a stand, a stand which has forever
endeared Muhammad Ali to millions, and millions all around the world,
to the four-corners of the globe.
was nobody’s puppet.
today we’re fighting the White man’s enemies, willingly,
obligingly we defend the imperialistic foreign policy of Uncle Sam .
. . while at the same time, simultaneously the White races preferred
candidate for President of the disunited States of America, Lord
Donald Trump is declaring war on Black, Brown, Yellow and Red people.
so many Black boys of the era, one of the very few times I witnessed
my ol’ man cry was when Ali lost to Frazier - the “White
man’s champion,” and that visual left a lasting imprint
in my mind of the significance, stature and symbolic value Mohammad
Ali represented to my people.