Embracing the Greatest

I do not remember much of Muhammad Ali’s life firsthand. The sharpest memories that come to me are of the middle-aged man, slowed and bowed by a crippling disease, who lit the flame at the ‘96 Olympics in Atlanta. Part of my life has been spent watching Ali’s in reverse; watching his godlike physique and hellfire oratory return, trying to figure out just how the figure of dignified defiance, one whom my elders treated with utmost deference, had been forged.

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