Rumble Young Man, Rumble ..

I am America.
I am the part you won’t recognize, but get used to me. 
Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own;
Get used to me.

He was one of the greatest black minds to ever live on this planet.

I'm not sad that Muhammad Ali has passed. I'm glad that he's finally at peace after battling Parkinson's Disease for over three decades and being in and out of the hospital the past couple of years. I'm glad that part of his life is over and he can finally rest and be at peace with all that he's accomplished in life. And he sure did accomplish a great deal in the 74 years that he lived.

No I'm more so sad about the fact that we lost the one man that stood head and shoulders above so many and toe to toe with civil rights greats like Malcolm X, Bill Russel, Jesse Jackson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr. All of these men had different approaches to defending and securing the rights of African-Americans but what set him apart was the fact that he was brash and unapologetic about his approach.

Every single thing that Muhammad Ali did was for a purpose and without thought. From his name change, the fact that the always talked about himself as being the greatest because he truly believed in himself that much, all the way to him outright denouncing the Vietnam war, citing: I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. He stood for what he believed in without a second thought and that's what separated him from so many other people. That way of life never changed, even to this day when he defended Islam from the ignorant and hateful words of Donald Trump.

No the loss of Muhammad Ali means so much more than just his contributions to the sports world, his loss signifies that an end of an era his slowly leaving us. I'm sad of his passing because there isn't that one undeniable voice that echos from the ground up to the highest reaches this society has to offer. There isn't a man that is willing to go on national platform and flat out denounce something that wasn't right, regardless of what physical or monetary repercussions it might entail. We lost a man that challenged the status quo and looked good while doing so.

We lost a man that wasn't afraid for one second to be everything black and great.

There are a few people in this world that can command the attention of everyone in the room that they are in by simply walking in it. I'm not talking about just the physical presence that one can bring when they enter somewhere, (he stood close to 6'4 and over 200 some odd pounds). When Ali walked into the room you knew you were going to laugh, you were going to be entertained but also you were going to be educated. Lost in the discussion between people is the fact that Ali was well versed in everything that mattered. He wasn't the smartest person in terms of book smarts, but he was the smartest person where it mattered: life.

Just when people thought he was going to be for the money or play the company do boy, Ali always managed to take that moment and remind people that he was still a black man from Louisville, Kentucky and that he was not their for consumption. He did things the way that he wanted to them and on his time. He told it like it is and never how they wanted him how to tell it, (which usually involved a lie). He just moved like a person who didn't care about what people thought about him but at the same time moved like a person who who cared about the level of life his people were living.

Today we lost the true people's champion, OUR people's champion.

At a time when black men needed empowering and black women needed the image of a true protector, Muhammad Ali was there. When we needed someone to get up and say that our blackness was the greatest thing to ever happened to the lives of the people in this country, Muhammad Ali was there. When there was a need for someone to stand up in front of the cameras, to be transmitted to millions of homes in this country, denouncing our involvement with Vietnam, he was right there. When you needed that one laugh just to make your day better, and he saw that you were in need, he was that guy to take care of you.

Muhammad Ali took care of us in so many ways, both big and little, that it's hard not to feel some kind of way that he's gone from our lives now. If you google his name and one of your favorite people in this world, I bet 9 times out of 10 that you will see his face or his words associated with them in some shape or form. That is what true blackness looks like, the ability to touch so many people, yet staying true to yourself and being absolutely awesome while doing it. There are few people in this world that come close to Ali level, and it seems like as we progress through the years they are all leaving us and moving on to a peaceful life.

What do I think about Muhammad Ali? How do I remember the man who did so much before I was even born? Well there's a quote that he had about himself that pretty much sums up both how bad he was and how much I admired him: "I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I'm so mean I make medicine sick". When you see the title and think of his most popular quote, I'm actually thinking of the way he came through life: loud, thunderous and he made everyone tremble in his presence.

That was Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest people to ever walk this earth.

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