A Tribute to the Greatest
There are some people you just never expect to go. They're supposed to live forever, the people you'll see on a red carpet in your 30’s and your kids will ask “who’s that?”, and you'll smile and say their name remembering how they've impacted your life. Muhammad Ali was one of those people. He was immortal, The Greatest of All Time. Yet here we are today in a world without him.
We’re still mourning the list of so many other greats, and this stings on another level. Ali was OURS. He did not transcend race. He was black gold and we loved him for it. We loved ourselves, because of him. And now, as his energy moves through us, we owe it to him. We owe it to him to continue his legacy. We owe it to him to go Full Ali, and here's why:
Ali did not need boxing, boxing needed Ali. Ali was a multidimensional and multitalented individual. He sang, he acted, he saved lives, he managed careers, he organized, and most of all he used his wit and quick sense of humor to get onto platforms and speak his truth.
He never allowed someone to think for him. He told you how he felt, when he felt it and why he was not going to be persuaded to think otherwise. Giving this soft spoken little black girl the courage to trust her instinct.
- He stayed true to his beliefs. Ali always addressed that he was not a perfect man but what he did not allow was for his morals to be overruled or outweighed due to money or fame and he DID NOT allow anyone to put a price on his freedom.
Ali showed me what it meant to be a PR mastermind. Yes the quick rhymes and jokes were apart of who he was but he also knew that being the outspoken, showboating, wordsmith would help draw attention to his fights and he used the advice given to him by Gorgeous George, “stay outrageous”, to make sure those big bucks came in.
Ali showed me what a person of true unfaltering integrity looked like. No matter what, he used his platform to speak on the plight of his people. He also used it as a tool to speak TO his people and to always remind us of how beautiful, intelligent, and how worthy we were.
- His persona was larger than life but he was never too gassed to not be able to check himself or to simply laugh at himself. True, sometimes Ali’s mouth got him in trouble. Sometimes he said something he wasn't too proud of but he was never too big of a man to not apologize. He may have called his opponents names but he knew it was out of fun and if he truly hurt your feelings he would apologize because at the end of the day he was just a gentle giant, and that’s word to Joe Frasier.
- Ali took on the entire American government and showed the world even if they take away our worldly possessions, our peace of mind and the freedom of our people are invaluable. Something many will say but will not stay true to. Ali did time in jail, lost his title, and was into debt behind his beliefs and kept his confidence, resilience, and transparency about him the entire time.
Ali showed us that we are loved. That we are great and that as long as we have God, and a sound mind we can accomplish all things. He taught us the importance of our voice. Of utilizing our platform and speaking up for those being told that their voices do not matter. Ali inspires us in a ways that we can only express through action. He showed us that we don't have to follow their rules. That we don't have to fall to the labels they put on us. He taught us how to define ourselves for ourselves and to walk in that proudly. Ali taught us to speak up now, and not to worry if we are understood later. He reminded us to LOVE each other. To love people because life is far bigger than any wordly possession. Ali showed us what it meant to be generous, real, eloquent, ambitious, and tenacious. Ali taught us what it meant to be GREAT.
We will love you forever Ali. Thank you for all you've given us. Now its our time. #FullAli