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Remembering Brother Malcolm

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

In December 2020 the film 'One Night In Miami' was released, which creates a narrative about what may have happened when four black men at the height of their careers met up after a championship prize fight.

Cover poster for 'One Night in Miami'

The championship boxing match between Muhammad Ali (Then Cassius Clay) and Sonny Liston was a blockbuster sporting event that took place in February 1964 in Miami, Florida.

Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell, and other star athletes make a statement regarding the civil rights struggle in America 1967

After the match Ali, human rights activist Malcolm X, NFL superstar Jim Brown, and world famous singer Sam Cooke, met at the Hampton House Motel in Miami. There is much speculation about what they actually talked about, but there is no doubt the discussion was brotherly considering the friendly relationship Muhammad Ali had with Malcolm, Sam, and Jim. Malcolm X, the eldest of the three likely shared wisdom of his struggles for the liberation of black people. This may have been a catalyst to the famous press conference in 1967, where Ali, Jim Brown and several other prominent athletes showed solidarity for civil rights and Ali who had been stripped of this world titles for taking a stand against the war in Vietnam.


Sam Cooke and Muhammad Ali

Less than a year later from the 1964 meeting, Malcolm X would be assassinated. Sam Cooke would be murdered in what was ruled as a justifiable homicide. We are left to speculate what their dialogue was actually like, but 'One Night In Miami' does a good job of illustrating what that may have looked and sounded like. One of Sam Cooke's greatest hits, "A Change Is Gonna Come" was also released in 1964, and was picked up by the civil rights movement as a theme song.

Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali

Commemorating the physical transition of Malcolm that took place February 21, 1965 Shomari of the duo Wakanda One created an all vocal rendition of "A Change is Gonna Come". The accompanying video below was filmed at the birth-site of Malcolm X in Omaha, Nebraska.

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