For the past week, the world has mourned the loss of Muhammad Ali after he passed away in an Arizona hospital.
Over the past seven days, we have seen a number of tributes on television and other media platforms from all across the globe celebrating the life of the man who generations know as “the greatest of all time.”
On Friday, Ali was laid to rest in Louisville, Kentucky during a private ceremony attended by family and close friends. Prior to his internment, the charismatic boxer, formerly known as Cassius Clay, was celebrated during a nearly 20-mile procession through the city he knew and loved more than any other.
After the procession and the private burial service, nearly 20,000 attended a public funeral service for the three-time heavyweight champion of the world who battled Parkinson’s disease for nearly thirty-five years of his adult life.
During a special edition of NewsOne Now, Roland Martin and a select panel of guests discussed the home-going service and the celebration of the life of Ali.
Martin’s guest on NewsOne Now included:
- Greg Carr, Chair of the Dept. of Afro-American Studies at Howard University
- Coach Butch McAdams, Host of the The Butch McAdams Show on Radio One
- Christy Winters Scott, Comcast SportsNet Analyst and Host
- Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., founder, and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition
- Cora Masters Barry, CEO of the Recreation Wish List Committee, Former First Lady of D.C. and wife of Marion Barry
- Kevin Rivers, Jr., Boxer
- Betty Baye, Former columnist with the Louisville Courier Journal
Muhammad Ali Transcended Sports
Muhammad Ali’s impact reached far beyond the boxing ring and professional sports. The three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world was a humanitarian who left his mark on multiple generations.
“He was a man’s man — he made people stand up for themselves and what was right,” NewsOne Now panelist Christy Winters Scott explained.
“This is a man who was a champion, but he stood for more than that out of the ring and all throughout his life he stood for justice, he stood for morality, he stood for himself and his beliefs and the principles behind his beliefs.”
Framing The Narrative Of Muhammad Ali: How Will The Champ Be Remembered?
While much of the world will remember Muhammad Ali as a gentle giant in his later years, during the 1960’s, the boxer became a polarizing figure speaking out against the Vietnam War and encouraging African-Americans to be free at all times.
Greg Carr, Chair of the Dept. of Afro-American Studies at Howard University said on NewsOne Now, “Controversial figures are not praised in the moment when they’re alive, it’s afterwards when they’re elevated.”
Ali Speaks: Muhammad Ali Addresses The Notion Of “Whiteness”
During a decades-old interview, Muhammad Ali addressed the notion of “whiteness” in America, saying everything that is White is associated as being being good while everything associated with Black is evil.
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