An essay about the life of Muhammad Ali as a religious and philosophical figure rather than just a sporting athlete.

Essay by MagogHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2003

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Muhammad Ali

It has been said that there are few opportunities in life to prove yourself a man; Muhammad Ali took advantage of every one that came his way, in doing so became loved by not only his countrymen, but also the world, and became immortal in his own time. In a world where the most of the global population is living in poverty it seems that people all over are in need of hope. Muhammad Ali did just that; he provided hope to a desperate world. In the 1960's the country was being torn apart. Poverty on city streets were rising, racial tension was quickly coming to a head, and the U.S government was killing American youth in what many people thought was an immoral, profit driven war overseas. The emergence of a young Cassius Clay coincided with the many American white people's fear of growing strength and aggression in the black community towards an oppressive and often racist social and economic system.

It was this same "White America" that had cheered young Cassius to a gold metal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, and then turned their backs on him when he joined a radical black separatist movement and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. With this same action he had swept him self in controversy with the white majority, who now viewed him as a hostile militant black threat. In the black community this militant black Muslim was revered as a hero, the refreshing voice that socially oppressed blacks needed. It was this voice that told black women that they were just as beautiful as white women, that black men could survive without whites, it was also the voice that said black men will not fight the rich mans economic war in Vietnam; It...