Sunday, May 04, 2014
Muhammad Ali Recites A Poem For The Ages
This was part of an interview with Muhammad Ali on Cathal O'Shannon's television show in Ireland back in the day. The poem he recites (which is about the uprising at Attica Prison in New York in 1971) is beautiful and moving and I've never even heard it mentioned before today.
Notice how, after his recitation, The Champ took the opportunity to make clear that, while we have our own particular nightmares, the struggle for freedom crosses all boundaries. As a leader in the army of Black resistance, he was one of the first in the world (on any side) to publicly acknowledge this, catching hell from some for it and confusing others.
Many are only just now beginning to embrace this truth. Our situations are not the same, but we will never win without supporting each other fully in our struggles. In order to offer full support, we have to respect each other. And respect -- then -- gets respect. Black people are much better at this than White people are, by the way.
What constitutes respect? Well, Black Americans are still waiting for White folks to see them as whole human beings and full citizens in the land of their birth. Once that happens, a lot of other stuff is going to take care of itself. What gets in the way? White folks thinking that nobody deserves that but them. Sigh.