Interview with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

OK, now I want you to remember that we're back in the sixties and the whole notion of Black identity was a lot newer, and you were a lot younger, and I want you to think back on, um, what impact Ali as, as a Black man and an athlete and the combination of the two had on you.


Well, I think Ali's impact on, on young people was, was very formidable. I remember when I was in high school, um, the teachers at my high school didn't like him because he was so anti-establishment and he kind of thumbed his nose at authority and got away with it, and, uh, they didn't like that at all. The fact that he was proud to be a Black man, and that he was, uh, had so much talent and could enjoy it in a way that, uh, was not seen to be, didn't have the dignity that they assumed that it should have. I think that was something that really made certain people love him and made other people think that he was, he was dangerous. But, for those very reasons, that, that's why I enjoyed him.