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Is it possible to write something new about Muhammad Ali? – Boxing Sports

Yes, I can.John Denen talks about the authors of two new books about Muhammad Ali and what they revealed about the greats

Much is written about Muhammad Ali, the greatest person of 20 yearsth Century sports and perhaps cultural life. Some books about him are certainly a classic of sports writing (Fight With Norman Mailer King of the world For example, David Remnick lists only two). But for such a well-documented life, writing something new about a great man may sometimes seem impossible. However, two recently published books prove that it is possible in a variety of ways.

Become an antFact-based fiction by Kwame Alexander and James Patterson that combines poetry and prose. For young readers, imagine Muhammad Ali’s childhood in Louisville, Kentucky.

“We wanted to allow young readers to understand, access and find some relevance to Muhammad Ali. As an icon, as an activist, as a heavyweight champion. He’s approaching. Great. It’s almost a myth. But he writes about his growth, adulthood, things that go wrong at school, unrequited love, and the mediocrity of having a bully in his neighborhood. If you can find a way. The usual things children experience. Tell the story how he gained confidence and how it served as a starting point for him to be the greatest. If I could show it, it would be a unique and original way to tell his story. That was Jim’s idea. We adopted it and implemented it, “says Alexander. Boxing news.. “Everyone knows who he was, so to show who he is.”

Their novel is factual. With the help of the Muhammad Ali Center, the author independently accessed the oral history tape and talked to his widow, Ronnie. Alexander discovered that, although not understood at the time, Ali was dyslexic and had a more complete picture of how his life was growing.

“I’m writing to attract children,” Alexander explained. “We want to write a book that kids will want to read.

“When I read it, I felt I had to do it because Ali’s autobiography played a vital role in my life. I read it when I was 11 years old. But the book is cool and this guy was cheeky, arrogant and confident, and at the same time humble, but really helped me understand what is genuine, genuine, kind and beautiful. Everything I want to be. This I have a great quote, not because I’m better than anyone, but because no one is better than anyone. That’s what I got from reading the book. “

Warren Klosterman / Courier Journal / USA TODAY Sports

However, this task was subject to unique pressure. For example, Ronnie Ali didn’t like the first draft. “I had to check my ego,” Kwame said. “It was hard. I had to respect. [She said,] “We have to do this right for Muhammad’s legacy, and I believe in you.” She added that little thing, and it made me feel good, And then I had to go back and rewrite her notes to balance my artistic integrity. I’m not going to change the story, especially if that happens, because you don’t like anything. At the same time, I will respect this relationship and this opportunity to use my writing chops to make sure Muhammad enjoys reading and does it in a problem-free way.

“What I didn’t realize was the pressure we receive from real estate whose sole purpose is to uplift and uphold the legacy of one of the greatest humans ever walking on this planet. did.”

In the end it was a success. When it was over, he points out, “She said Muhammad would have loved the book, and she loved it, so I think it worked.”

By the way, more than the recently recommended Marcus Rashford Become an ant on His twitter feed..

The story of Muhammad Ali and what he describes resonates today. “The more changes there are, the more it stays the same. It’s sad that we’re still dealing with things like this. You’re in Louisville, where the ants grew up, where this book goes. Think about what happened in Louisville. Breona Taylor So the same thing is still happening. The idea is probably that this book provides some inspiration, encourages black children to look at themselves and see what they can do in all this racial injustice, and Perhaps a white kid can see it and say awesome, I need it. To start another way of thinking, you have to start accepting the full humanity of this world, “says Alexander. I did. “The idea is that a book is a mirror that sees itself, a book is a window that sees others, and your imagination begins to grow. You become a more fulfilling person, more connected to each other, and more empathetic. A better human being. Isn’t that what he was fighting all the time? “

Stuart Kosgrove explores such themes in his excellent new history. Cassius XSet when Ali converted to Islam, prepared to defeat Sonny Liston on the World Heavyweight Championship, and became increasingly politically involved.

“For some time in 1963, the world knew him as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Louisville Lip, but he was actually himself and his at the Miami mosque where he was converting as Cassius X. It was known to people nearby. ” “I think there are many similarities in the soul trilogy. [Cosgroves’] Three books on soul music and social change in the late 1960s. All books are dying prematurely, usually a kind of racist police killing young children, which are widespread within the community, at the center of people’s anger, and almost at the place of their resistance. Become. I felt like quite a lot was happening.

“he [Ali] A young African-American man challenged the legitimacy of not looking back aloud, and the legitimacy of “I’m the best. I’ll always talk …”, so it’s big for his generation. I did a great service. He played fair because it was a big radical step when he was 20 or 21 years old. “

“If you look at what Marcus Rashford is doing now as a young athlete, there may be some kind of comparison, albeit in different ways. He stands up and thinks it’s politically appropriate. He is willing to take his opinion on things. He is willing to put his own reputation on the line, and he is willing to confront the government of the day. That is not what many can do in life. Most people just prefer to live under radar and don’t let complaints and criticisms go. Marcus Rashford lives in very different times, so the two say they’re equivalent. That’s not the case, “Cosgrove adds. “At the time, Cassius X was almost alone. There were a lot of very good black boxers … but in some respects he stood up and refused to accept the idea that lips should be buttoned. I respect him. That’s one of the things I respect him most. “

Cosgrove is an expert on the emergence of soul music in the United States, investigating the impact of soul on young ants. Soul singer Dee Dee Sharp was a girlfriend at the time, and her friendship with Sam Cooke was also beneficial to Muhammad Ali. “he [Cook] He was very good at claiming his musical rights, “Kosgrove said. “He instructed Cassius to be very business like his brand.

“”[Ali] Was an early developer of images, personas, and how to build the commercial brand we are now calling, and he adopted it very early. That’s one of the reasons I write so much about Sam Cooke in this book. Sam Cooke owned his own record label at this time.

“”[Ali] I was good at manipulating such relationships with editors and photographers. The book also describes his ability to utilize the media to make it work for him. He loved R & B DJ. He, of course, completed the couplets and poems that lingered in the early days of rap music. That is what he was absorbed in. “

It is an approach to the subject of Muhammad Ali’s life and purpose from a new angle. “Soul music fraternity can be brutal, boxing fraternity is even more cruel. I probably risked alienating both,” Kosgrove laughed. “Almost every sentence I wrote went back and reconfirmed and reconfirmed.

“All words had to be correct.”


– Boxing Sports

Is it possible to write something new about Muhammad Ali?

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