Muhammad Ali Essay

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Muhammad Ali

Cassius Clay was just a boxer. A boxer who captured the hearts of Americans while winning the 1960’s Olympic gold. Here was a young man at the age of 18, representing the greatest nation on the planet and making his people proud. He would again gain the fascination of America with his defeat of the anti-hero of the time Sonny Liston. However, this hero famed across mainstream America would not last, all it would take was a man finding himself. Introducing Muhammed Ali, another boxer. However, just a boxer was not simple enough. This man who used to be called Cassius Clay, now embodied the radical change that was beginning to creep it’s way into American society. This Ali rejected what he called his “slave name” and
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Cassius Clay symbolizes the young naïve man who is yet to understands his surroundings. True, Clay understood the concept of segregation being raised in the southern city of Louisville, but he didn’t really immerse himself in ridding of it. The events of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King didn’t really strike young Clay. The real shocker of what was really going on in America at the time involved the terrible event that happened in Money, Mississippi Aug. 1955.# This is the event which really brought the concept home to Clay. The incident involved a young black named Emmett Till. Emmett was from Chicago and was sent to visit family down south in Mississippi. While there he flirted with a white women, the women’s husband caught word and later found Till and brutally murdered the young boy. The crime was publicly shown along with the trial. However, even though the men who murdered Till were obviously guilty, the men were acquitted and set free. Young Clay really felt an impact from the case. “I felt a deep kinship to him when I learned he was born the same year and day I was”, Ali would later write.# Ali would write later about what he did when he was a boy to get back at those that failed Till. Essentially it was his first real protest against the establishment or so he wrote. What he did is symbolic because it was him and his friends throwing rocks at a poster of Uncle Sam and his famous words of “Uncle

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