Prof. Patrick Rael Reflects on Muhammad Ali’s Legacy

Patrick Rael

Patrick Rael

Professor of History Patrick Rael, a specialist in African American history, reflects on the legacy of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, and how he will be remembered outside the ring. Ali died June 3, 2016. He was 74.

What Richard Pryor was to comedy, Muhammad Ali was to boxing. Of course, both were masters of intensely individual endeavors showcasing unique talents and geniuses. But both also flourished during profound transformations in the meaning of race and power in American life. Both men possessed remarkable gifts for words, which both used to infuse fields of American entertainment with radical critiques of the role of race in American life. And in the process, both exposed the dark core at the heart of the nation, illuminating not just the gifts of the people they stood for, but calling the nation to a better vision of itself. Read more of Rael’s reflections on Muhammad Ali.

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