I've included more quotes below the fold, but the reason I'm putting htis diary up is that ESPN is airing a show called Ali Rap this Saturday night. I just heard the song Chuck D, of Public Enemy, wrote for the show, and it's intense.
If Ali had never boxed, he'd be one of the greatest heroes of his day. The man had a (not so quiet) dignity and courage that seems to have never been replicated. I encourage you to watch the show.
"I Ain't Got No Quarrel With The VietCong..."
"No VietCong Ever Called Me Nigger" - responding to criticism for his previous remark
"I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want."
"My way of joking is to tell the truth. That's the funniest joke in the world."
"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."
"The only place they can take my title away from me is in the ring. And nobody can do it there, either"
(Reaction to WBA stripping him of his title for refusing induction into the army.)
"Let the man that wins go to the backwoods of Georgia and Alabama or to Sweden or Africa. Let him stick his head in an elementary school; let him walk back down an alley at night. Let him stop under a street lamp where some small boys are playing and let him say: What's my name? and see what they really say. Everybody knows me and knows I am the champion"
(On plans to find a new heavyweight champion after being stripped)