Sunday, June 5, 2016
I remember as a youngster seeing "Cassius Clay" fight for the first time in my room,on a black & white 19inch TV. Instantly I became a fan of the "Greatest",C.Clay had bravado & character as he reigned in the boxing ring as the Heavy Weight Champion.He would predict the round his opponents would fall,Archie Moore in round 4.And most times the fight would end just as he predicted. His hands & feet where quick and so was his mouth.His opponents tried to shut his mouth in the ring and failed,outside the ring Racism couldn't silence him either As far as I was concerned he was invincible in & out of the ring.Black folk in America had a new hero in a time in America where racial turmoil was in effect.Dr.King was gathering the masses,Malcolm X was too.Blacks in America were rising up against racism.Cassius Clay became "Muhammad Ali and became a Muslim.Not only was Ali a champion in the ring,he became a champion of civil rights & social justice.He became a role model for Black men in America.Ali never compromised his beliefs nor his principals.As much as America loved him,there was a part of America that hated him.Racism would go after him using his opponents in the ring,fighters like Floyd Patterson & Ernie Terrell who refused to address the champ by his new name.They were punished by Ali in the ring for their disrespect.Meanwhile the champ's mouth still roared outside the ring.He stood with with Black leadership and marched for Civil Rights.He stood with Malcolm X at a time when America had Malcolm X in their cross hairs.The Vietnam war was raging at this time.Black men were being drafted with the quickness,some returning home missing limbs and strung out on drugs. Vietnam was a ugly war.Influential Blacks & Black leadership were speaking out against the war.America decided to draft the champ,Ali refused to answer the draft.America's justice system convicted Ali of draft evasion,stripping him of his Heavy Weight title.Black folk were so united that Ali became the "Peoples Champ".It didn't matter who held the title in ring.The People's Champ over shadowed them.During the era of Ali,Black folks had a "Unity" that couldn't be broken.America had murdered MLK & Malcolm X was assassinated.Still Black folk stood up for themselves addressed each other by Brother or Sister.There was pride & respect for each other.In 1971 America's justice system overturned Ali's conviction for Draft evasion.Ali hadn't been in the ring for 3yrs. Black folks were anxious to see the "People's Champ" become the "Heavy Weight Champion" once again.He did regain the title after several fights.Black folks hero was back,still at the same time Black Unity started to deteriorate,drugs & 60s riots had ravaged Black communities.The pride & respect was not as strong as it was.The progress that was made by way of strong black leadership,commitment & sacrifice by the people.All of a sudden was not being nurtured,instead complacency was setting in.Today in America that complacency has comeback to haunt Black folk in America.Though in my view God has blessed Black folk with another "People's Champ",his name is Barack H. Obama.He's the President of the US,with the courage of MLK,the tenacity of Malcolm X & the "Championship spirit of Muhammad Ali". During his Presidency President B.Obama has "Floated Like A Butterfly & Stung Like Bee".His message to Black men has been "Rumble Young Man Rumble"..........No Violence-Know Peace!