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Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Muhammad Ali

In LEVEL. More on Medium.

As a 14-year-old Black boy in the Bronx, I knew anything was possible once I read that comic book

Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Bugner, Kuala Lumpur, July 5, 1975. Photo: Central Press/Getty Images

I’mnot going to bore you with Muhammad Ali’s legendary exploits, because for decades, journalists have regaled his every documented breath, his defiance of systemic oppression, and his magnetic belief in his abilities. Instead, I’ll share the perspective of a young Black boy in the Bronx during the ’70s, trying to find his place in the world when Ali came on the scene.

He was the first Black man I had ever seen get up on television and declare that he was “The Greatest.” There wasn’t a caveat in his inflection. There wasn’t a touch of mockery, only the crystal…

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