This past Friday the world lost a cultural icon. Muhammad Ali aka Ali Bomaye passed away at the age of 74 from respiratory failure. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville Kentucky – but would later change his name to Muhammad Ali upon converting to Islam – was that one person who would go on to to cultivate a generation (and future generations that’d follow) and be idolized as “The People’s Champ.” He will forever be remembered as one of the most famous and influential athletes of all time. Muhammad Ali was not simply a heavyweight boxer; he was also that entity that would transcend the sport with his famous “rope-a-dope” tactic used during his 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” match against George Foreman. During the span of his boxing career, his would go on to have 56 wins out of 61 matches total.
During his nearly unbeatable reign, he fought what seemed to be the world at the time. He fought against naysayers, against opponents, against adversity, the U.S. government; and fought fiercely for his political/religious views at a time when people of color were intimated into silence. He did not let his surroundings nor his public image deter him from standing up for what he truly believed. His story will live on in the lives and hearts of those whom he influenced (from celebrities to the average Joe) – and his legacy will forever be cemented into American history as the man that never gave up and always let his voice be heard. May his soul rest in power always. You will forever be missed, champ. A public memorial service and funeral procession will be held Friday for Ali in his hometown of Louisville, Ky., where he will be buried.
By Roz Baron
Editor-in-Chief of Snkrbst.com