Wednesday, June 15, 2016
AS SALAAM ALAIKUM, MOHAMMAD ALI
Letter To The Indomitable, Muhammad Ali
by K. Omodele .@TheAbeng
As Salaam Alaikum, Ahkee Muhammad,
Been taking in hours of documentaries, interviews, sound bytes and clips of your remarkable life, Champ. Nothing much new, seen most of them before. Seems like your spirit has been with me since I was a child. My Grandfather (Jah Bless) lionized you, my father idolized you; Mommy, Aunties, Uncles, they chanted your name, relayed your stories, with reverence like djeles. Sometimes people chatter gleefully about your rapid-fire hands and gazelle-like feet; but it's your unconquerable, indomitable spirit that my tribe exalts most.
Which is why I was baffled when, in your 60 Minutes interview with Ed Bradley, you retreated off camera stating that you didn't want people feeling sorry for you, that no one should pity you.
Brother, Dada, Baba, Bredren, don't you know...?
One has to have been defeated or shorted in some form or fashion in order to be pitied. Ali, you showed us how to beat back formidable foes like you pummeled Parkinson; you stood toe to toe with Sonny, blow for blow with Smokin' Joe; you rumbled in that jungle and small axed that giant mahogany George. Though you were strapped to the post and whipped like Kunta Kinte by Uncle Sam, you held firm in defiance. "No Viet Cong ever called me nigger." Your head held high, back cocked straight, standing square on principle.
You held your ground knowing your stance was unpopular, unorthodox, many hated you for jabbing from your hip at the war, throwing left hooks weighed with jarring truths and straight rights loaded with human rights.
Haters spat. "How dare he bite the hand that feeds!"
But we, the poor and oppressed of the world, saw David (Dawoud) cock his sling at Goliath; we heard you, we felt you, we cheered as you floated above all rings, like Mandela and Mohandas transcended all courtrooms, like Malcolm and Martin transcended pulpits, like Marley transcended sound stages and booths, until the whole world thawed in that light that is Muhammad Ali, The Indomitable.
Peace and love be unto you, Honorable.
Never Gone! Never Forgotten!
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