Yesterday, we lost one of the greatest athletes of our time. For those of us who remember Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. one of the most significant professional boxing heavyweight champions of the world many people did not realize he was also a philanthropist, civil rights advocate, and an incredibly amazing poet.
This trash talking creative was intuitive of oppression and the human condition. He dubbed himself “The Greatest” and it is pretty evident that he proved that he was. I remember watching the 1977 movie “The Greatest” where Muhammad Ali dramatizes himself through events depicted about his life’s story up to this point. Some of the other cast members included Ernest Borgnine, John Marley, Teddy Wilson, Robert Duvall, James Earl Jones, Dina Merril, Roger E. Mosley, Paul Winfield, Lucille Benson, Arthur Adams, Rahaman Ali, David Clennon, Gene Kilroy, Toni Crabtree, Nai Bonet and Ray Holland.
Did you also know that Muhammad Ali released his spoken word album “I Am The Greatest?” That’s right! His spoken word album recorded under his name birth name Cassius Clay was released in August 1963, six months before he won the world heavyweight championship, announced his conversion to Islam, and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. As we all remember the legendary Muhammad Ali, I would like to share this poem from his spoken word album “I Am The Greatest” and echo that in spite of his fight with Parkinson’s Disease, he still remained the champion as only he could dramatize it. Outspoken and sometimes portrayed as cocky, although I believe he was very confident in his abilities, he is truly one of a kind. Thanks for the years of memories Champ!