All Articles Tagged "Muhammad Ali"
Have you ever noticed that successful individuals of the Caucasian persuasion rarely say they accomplished something for the benefit of their race or community? They usually cite personal desires as the source of their drive. It’s an interesting contrast to minorities who often speak of a need to represent for their people. The desire to make your community proud is an admirable one. But, the pressure of carrying an entire race or gender on your back can be a burden on the climb to success.
A Huffington Post op-ed captures the pressure black women in particular face, saying “I feel it is my duty to rep my groups well, so maybe there will be one less comment, one less shunning of someone else who comes along or to combat some crappy individual that somebody crossed paths with… There is a weight that I carry around because my words, actions and interactions are frequently perceived on behalf of my race and gender. No pressure, right?”
That’s a lot of pressure, actually. This role model mindset requires performing for two audiences — your people and the public. You can turn yourself into a one-woman show of making one group proud while debunking stereotypes held by the other. But where does the opinion of the person doing all the work come into play? Living up to the standards of others requires that you let other people define what success looks like for you.
Muhammad Ali said, “I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” He made this statement after joining the Nation of Islam. I have a feeling it was directed to his own people as much as White America.
At times your goals will align with those of your community or outsiders you want to impress, but it is important to be clear where the differences lie. Ali realized the problem with living to please everyone else. It’s impossible to do.
Black folks in particular can be a hard group to please. Take Gabrielle Douglas, the first black woman to win gold in the gymnastics individual all-around. Before the medal could be hung around her neck, many of the people she had just blazed a path for prefaced their praise with ridicule over what brand of gel she put in her hair. Lucky for Douglas, she pursued a gymnastics dream that was all her own, saving her well-deserved victory from being tarnished.
You have just as much control over what your own people think of you as you do the assumptions that are made about your race or gender based on your behavior. None. So, forget what they think. Concentrate on representing yourself in a way that makes you proud.
People can be inspired or have their minds opened by witnessing your climb to success, but ultimately the journey is a personal one. Everyone’s opinion on what success looks like and how it should be handled is different. Trying to live up to someone else’s vision of success is the definition of not being true to you. The only opinion on your life that matters is yours.
R&B singer Ne-Yo made headlines recently when he revealed that he turned down the chance to play Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because he didn’t want to gain 30 pounds. He may have passed on a career defining opportunity, but after his role in Red Tails, maybe not…
In the acting world, getting the chance to play someone famous in a biopic is sure to take a career to the next level, and these days, everybody is doing it. Usher has already spoken out about the high expectations he has for his upcoming role as Sugar Ray Leonard. He wants an Oscar. He’d be following in the footsteps of fellow entertainers and actors who have stepped into the shoes of iconic public figures and created a path towards podiums in doing so.
Denzel was robbed of an Oscar for his portrayal of slain civil rights activist Malcolm X in 1993. Denzel assumed the identity of the complex man with ease and grace. He spoke the way Malcolm spoke. He carried himself the way Malcolm did and he made people feel as passionately about the Nation of Islam as the leader did with his nuanced performance. Denzel thoroughly inhabited the role of Malcolm through his cadence, posture and every inflection to the point where it felt he was no longer acting. He became Malcolm Little turned unconventional hero. Denzel may not have won the Oscar for the biopic, but the universal praise for his performance should be a fitting consolation.
Tags:Angela Bassett, beyonce, biopic, cadillac records, denzel washington, Dorothy Dandridge, dr. martin luther king jr, etta james, halle berry, ike turner, Jamie Foxx, jennifer lopez, laurence fishburne, malcolm x, morgan freeman, Muhammad Ali, Ne-Yo, Nelson Mandela, oscar, Ray Charles', Selena, sugar ray leonard, tina turner, Usher, Will Smith
Happy Father’s Day, loves! If you’ve already spent time with your loved ones or if you’ve yet to get out, take a minute and check out what your fave celebs have been up to!
He is the greatest to ever enter the ring, and Louis Vuitton has recognized his brilliance. Muhammad Ali is the new spokesperson for the luxury handbag designer. Shot by Annie Liebovitz, the ads capture the beloved American hero in a candid moment with his pint-size grandson, Curtis Muhammad Conway Jr., ready to follow in his massive footsteps. Curtis, also known as “C.J.,” is the son of Laila Ali, and his grandfather personally requested that the three-year old appear in the ad with him.
Check out more family cuteness on StyleBlazer.com.
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It’s always nice to be able to make that money and take your little one along with you! That’s what mama Tia Mowry-Hardrict did a couple of days ago when she hosted TheBump and AMC Theatres’ “Bring Your Baby Matinees” event in Cali. She of course brought along the very cute and funny Cree who tried to play shy in front of the cameras. He’s such a cutie, and looks just like his dad Cory!
Caught perusing around town in NYC was reality star Khloe Kardashian and her step-daughter, Destiny Odom. The two were laughing (or as I like to say, ki-king it up) down the street as they showed off their high buns and interesting style. Loving that lime green bag Khloe is rocking, and Destiny’s denim jacket with spikes is fresh as well. Doesn’t she look just like her dad?
And last in the cute kid lineup is Sydney, the adorable baby who belongs to Laila Ali and her former NFL playing husband, Curtis Conway. The 1-year-old munchkin is seen here with her grandfather, boxing legend Muhammad Ali. He’s showing her some love and definitely, this picture is oozing cuteness. Don’t you agree?
Images courtesy of Black Celeb Kids.
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In honor of Black History Month, instead of showing off the everyday, regular beefcake dude (as much as we adore them), we thought we’d send some love to the beautiful black men from our history who we would have been breaking our necks over back in the day. Okay, maybe not breaking, but at least on the bandwagon for. Muhammad Ali is one of those guys with his random poetry, fast feet and buff body. Time has passed and we know he doesn’t look like the “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” Ali that people were drooling over 30 to 40 years ago, but the guy still has that charm we all can agree is attractive. Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
Joe Frazier, the former heavyweight champion warmly known as “Smokin’ Joe,” died yesterday at the age of 67. The hard-hitting boxer had been battling with liver cancer, which his family says he was just recently diagnosed with in September. After his diagnosis, Frazier was placed in hospice care. His family issued the following statement about his death:
“We The Family of … Smokin’ Joe Frazier, regret to inform you of his passing. He transitioned from this life as ‘One of God’s Men,’ on the eve of November 7, 2011 at his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”
Frazier was a two-time heavyweight champion known for his deadly left hook and the pressure he put on his opponents with his grunts and bobbing and weaving. But what Frazier is most known for other than his legacy in the boxing ring in general is his three big bouts with Muhammad Ali. In their first big fight, known as “The Fight of the Century,” Frazier beat Ali after 15 brutal rounds, handing him his first professional loss and a severely bruised jaw in the process. It would also start something of a battle royale, as the two would meet again in 1974 where Ali would best the big guy making it 1-1. They would meet once again and one last time for the iconic “Thrilla in Manilla” match in ’75. Ali won in the tough contest, but called it his hardest fight ever. According to CNN, Ali says battling with “Smokin Joe” was “…the closest I’ve come to death.” After hearing news of the death of perhaps his biggest rival (in a friendly sport way), Ali issued a statement:
“The world has lost a great champion.” “I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones.”
Fans from all over have posted on social media expressing their grief over the superstar’s death. Fans including folks like Floyd Mayweather, who hit Twitter to say that he would like to pay for Frazier’s funeral. The former heavyweight boxing champ who influenced so many will definitely and retired in ’76 with a whopping record of 32-4-1, will definitely be missed. R.I.P. Joe Frazier!
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By Jay Anderson
America has a peculiar love/hate relationship with professional athletes. We love them when they’re playing well. We think they’re overpaid, whiny babies when they don’t. We build them up to tear them down, only to then (sometimes) build them back up again. We have watched some of our favorite athletes fall from the heights of sports success, to the depths of injury and incarceration – only to praise their resurrections. Here are 10 such tales of destruction, redemption and in some cases intense struggle back to the pinnacle of athletic achievement.
After spending time in jail for dogfighting, Vick’s climb back to the top has been slow, but steady. After a season as the Eagles’ third string quarterback, a combination of luck of hard work has thrust Vick back into the starting lineup and superstardom. By ringing up 3,018 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2010, the once discarded Vick was given the franchise tag by the team in February, and recently signed a new deal with Nike. Vick’s challenges has changed him into an appreciative man that brands want to identify with again.
(AP) — Boxing champ Muhammad Ali is asking Iran to release two American hikers held since 2009 on spy charges. Ali, arguably the most prominent U.S. Muslim, on Wednesday released to The Associated Press a letter he wrote to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in February. The letter asks Khameini to release Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, who were arrested while hiking in northern Iraq near the Iranian border. A third hiker, Sarah Shourd, was released on bail in September. ”Please show the world the compassion I know you have in your heart,” he wrote, asking Khamenei as a brother in Islam to show the same mercy and compassion for the two men as he did for Shourd. Ali also wrote a letter to Khamenei shortly before Shourd was released, though it was unclear whether it had any effect.