Back in St. Louis, Missouri, our house sat right in back of a drive-in movie theater. We would hop over the fence, turn up the speakers that weren't being used, grab some lawn chairs, popcorn, snacks, blankets and watch the movie with our whole block sitting on the lawn. One of the films I remember vividly watching was "The Greatest" with Muhammad Ali. Ali was bigger than life in generosity, kindness, boxing skills and personality. He truly was "The Greatest of All Time".
Muhammad Ali lost his battle with Parkinson Disease. Even after his organs failed, his heart continued to beat strongly for 30 minutes, which is so indicative of how strong-willed the spirit of this champ was for the decades. He never gave up. His sheer presence on this earth taught me personally that impossible is not a fact it's an opinion.
Ali denounced his “slave name” (Cassius Marcellus Clay, which was also his father’s name), the Christian religion and famously refused to serve in the Army stating “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.”A life decision which was not popular, but when did Ali ever care about what was popular and what was not. He lived his life on his terms...without regret.
Sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for his refusal to comply with the draft, Ali was fined $10,000. With his boxing license revoked and not allowed to box in the very prime of his career, the State Department even took away his passport to restrict him from fighting outside the country. Yet, Ali once again bounced back.
After a trilogy of infamous Frazier/Ali fights and a devastating final loss, to the much-younger Trevor Berbick, the champ retired in 1981 after 61 fights, with 56 wins. Muhammad Ali was not the greatest "black boxer", but simply the greatest athlete to grace that sport.
His life has been documented on film several times, most famously in the bio pic Ali, which earned Will Smith a Oscar nomination. In my opinion, he was an OG rapper.. Check him out, spinning rhymes as only Muhammad Ali could do.
Check out these films, which illustrate the spirit and dogged determination of a man we came to know and love for decades as the "Greatest of All Time" R.I.P. Muhammad Ali
Here are a few other flicks about the champ...
The Greatest... Thus was the one time Ali attempted to act by portraying himself in a story of his very colorful life. The song, "The Greatest Love of All", originally recorded by George Benson, but was immortalized by the late, great Whitney Houston.
There was a documentary released early this year on Ali, which features interviews and commentary from his daughter Laila Ali, Common, Sugar Ray Leonard and many more...
RIP DEAR BROTHA' MUHAMMAD...You really ARE the GREATEST OF ALL TIME❤️