African American History Black History Month

Feb 19: Muhammad Ali

by Trenton Perry


On April 28, 1967 the world famous boxer Muhammad Ali refused to enlist in the army and go to war in Vietnam stating “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong”. He had become Islamic because of Malcolm X’s powerful movement, changing his name from Cassius Clay and was charged with 5 years for evasion and banned from the sport of boxing, meaning he had to give up his heavyweight title. He strived for a change with the treatment of his people in Louisville. He faced an all-white jury and was sentenced to the maximum and $10,000 fine, but to his community he inspired others to not go against their morals for the governments sake.

This topic is very interesting because everyone knows Muhammad Ali from his great boxing accomplishments but many don’t know about his involvement in the African American community and standing up for his beliefs. Personally I enjoy watching the sport of boxing, and anytime you talk about the sport Ali is bound to be mentioned. He had incredible heart and faith in his religion. During 1967 there was a lot of racial tension going on in Louisville where Ali stated “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” He was from Louisville and this was also where he began his boxing career. This concept relates closely with the meaning of Black History month because he was an influential African American figure during the 60’s who wanted to bring a change and fight racism and not many people know that, so it’s important his story is shared during Black History month so his history isn’t lost.