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06 June 2016 - Muhammad Ali Remembered

Publié par Marion Coste le 06/06/2016

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“I Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee” Muhammad Ali Dies at 74
Tenille Livingston (The Huffington Post, 04/06/2016)

In his eyes he saw himself as the greatest boxer to ever live and that he was. Muhammad Ali was a Boxer, Philanthropist, Activist, Husband, and a father.
January 17,1942, Cassisus Marcellus Clay was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He came into the world with a gift that later took the sport of boxing to a whole different level. At the age of 12 Ali realized he was created to be a fighter after his bike was stolen. Ali had reportedly told a police officer by the name, Joe Martin that he wanted to beat the person that had ran off with his bicycle. The Officer told Ali that he needed to learn how to fight before challenging someone.
Not only was Joe Martin a police officer, but he taught young men the sport of boxing. Martin soon began training Ali the sport and he fell in love. Ali competed in his first Amateur fight in 1954 which he won by split decision and later in 1956 he won the Golden Glove Tournament for novices in the light heavyweight class. In 1960, Ali became an Olympic gold medalist and 4yrs. later after winning the fight against Sonny Liston he was given the title heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Ali was passionate about the sport of boxing and after his title defense against Zora Folley on March 22, he was stripped of his title for refusing to be drafted to do service in the United States Military.

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Iconic Figure

Muhammad Ali: Never the White Man’s Negro
Joyce Carol Oates (The New York Times, 06/06/2016)
CASSIUS CLAY, born in 1942, was the grandson of a slave; in the United States of his boyhood and young manhood, the role of the black athlete, particularly the black boxer, was a forced self-effacement.
White male anxieties were, evidently, greatly roiled by the spectacle of the strong black man, and had to be assuaged. The greater the black boxer (Joe Louis, Archie Moore, Ezzard Charles), the more urgent that he assume a public role of caution and restraint. Kindly white men who advised their black charges to be a “credit to their race” were not speaking ironically.
And yet, the young Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali refused to play this emasculating role. He would not be the “white man’s Negro” — he would not be anything of the white man’s at all. Converting to the Nation of Islam at the age of 22, immediately after winning the heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston, he denounced his “slave name” (Cassius Marcellus Clay, which was also his father’s name) and the Christian religion; in refusing to serve in the Army he made his political reasons clear: “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.”

A supreme athlete

The Outsized Life of Muhammad Ali
David Remnick (The New Yorker, 04/06/2016)
What a loss to suffer, even if for years you knew it was coming. Muhammad Ali, who died Friday, in Phoenix, at the age of seventy-four, was the most fantastical American figure of his era, a self-invented character of such physical wit, political defiance, global fame, and sheer originality that no novelist you might name would dare conceive him. Born Cassius Clay in Jim Crow-era Louisville, Kentucky, he was a skinny, quick-witted kid, the son of a sign painter and a house cleaner, who learned to box at the age of twelve to avenge the indignity of a stolen bicycle, a sixty-dollar red Schwinn that he could not bear to lose. Eventually, Ali became arguably the most famous person on the planet, known as a supreme athlete, an uncanny blend of power, improvisation, and velocity; a master of rhyming prediction and derision; an exemplar and symbol of racial pride; a fighter, a draft resister, an acolyte, a preacher, a separatist, an integrationist, a comedian, an actor, a dancer, a butterfly, a bee, a figure of immense courage.
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Muhammad Ali tributes led by Barack Obama: 'The Greatest. Period'
David Smith (The Guardian, 05/06/2016)
“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognise. But get used to me – black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own. Get used to me.”
Muhammad Ali loved the sound of his own voice, and so did everyone else. His words were predictably impossible to top on Saturday, as America mourned the loss of a colossus not only in the boxing ring but the arenas of politics, religion and popular culture.
Born in the south before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white bus passenger, he died at the age of 74, having seen the first African American elected to the White House. Barack Obama led tributes to the incandescent athlete, activist, humanitarian, poet and showman with a statement that caught the mood of many.
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"06 June 2016 - Muhammad Ali Remembered", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juin 2016. Consulté le 25/07/2024. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2016/06-june-2016-muhammad-ali-remembered