Welcome back everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying this warm weather and you can tell summer is pretty much here because it’s getting hot! I just wanted to do a tribute post to Muhammad Ali, aka Cassius Clay. I watched his memorial service service last Saturday that was held in Kentucky on Friday, June 10th . I actually taped it because when it came on I was at work but I saw a great deal of it and all I can say is I know Ali would be so proud! Over 50,000 people showed up to his memorial service! There were thousands of people outside of the KFC Yum! Center from all over the country just wanting to be apart of history. Kudos to Bounce TV for showing hours and hours of full coverage of the entire event. It felt historic just watching it. It was like watching Michael Jackson’s public memorial service in 2009 all over again.
Everyone who ever knew Muhammad Ali had nothing but very nice things to say about this man. This man was determined, spiritual, confident, strong, funny, intelligent, wise, and so many other things. As I watched Muhammad Ali’s memorial service and listened to each speaker at the ceremony convey their thoughts about him, it was pretty much like a celebration. You would think thousands of people would be extremely upset, but this felt more like a tribute. What I liked about Muhammad Ali was that just like Malcolm X he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind! Muhammad Ali loved all people, but he was like a voice for the oppressed negro back in the Jim Crow/segregation days.
Not one time have I ever heard Muhammad Ali belittle his race/culture to the world in front of millions. He never shunned the poor or made fun of people who didn’t have as much as he had materially. You never heard any wild stories about him raping women or being a straight up con artist. Sure, he loved the ladies, but that’s about the most questionable thing you’ve really heard about him. I think about men like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X and what they stood for. These men were not buffoons or jokes to the community. They both practiced what they preached. They both were interested in people and different cultures around the world.
Well, let’s now consider this current generation, my generation. Of course there are some young adults out here who are making a great name for themselves but they are a very small minority. Legends and icons simply don’t exist in this time period. We don’t have too many people of color in the public eye that practice what they preach. All my generation does is celebrate stupidity, looseness, and anything ratchet. This applies to the celebrities of color that are worshiped in this era as well. There’s no celebration of love and compassion. Men and women of Muhammad Ali’s generation strived to work for what they wanted. Muhammad Ali was never afraid to speak the truth on matters of the world such as racism, injustice, poverty, and other things. Muhammad Ali, like many men of his generation and era, dressed like a respectable man and not a thug. You can just go back and check out old footage of him as a very young man and see that even THEN he KNEW how to talk!
Muhammad Ali made you feel proud to be in the skin you were in. You can look at footage of all the public figures from the 60s who were black and they made you feel like you were on top of the world as a person of color. Listen to the rap lyrics and watch the reality TV shows of today that feature black “stars” and tell me if you feel the same way. I know I don’t feel proud. I feel embarrassed. What happened?
I always say I feel that I was born in the wrong generation. LOL. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so proud that I experienced the last great decade in the world, the 1990s. However, I am so drawn to my grandparents’ generation, who are Muhammad Ali’s age. These people were so young at the time but so resilient and strong in the 50s, 60s, and 70s! They weren’t cowards. They fought to change this country and the world. They glorified peace, unity, freedom, and respect. What does my generation glorify? I’ll wait. LOL.
I understand things evolve, but I do wish I had someone like Muhammad Ali in my generation. I think if you’d ask any person in their 20s or 30s they’d say the same thing. My generation could learn a lot from Muhammad Ali and other civil rights’ icons. RIP to one of the greatest men the world will ever see!