Interview with Sonia Sanchez

This is a question about Muhammad Ali back then. What was your sense of him?


I don't like fights and fighters but I love Muhammad Ali and I love Muham--Muhammad Ali because he was not just a fighter. Um, he was, um, a cultural resource for everyone in the time, in that time, Black students, White students, green students, brown students, blue students. He cut across, I mean every race, every religion, because he said, "No, I will not go," and then tried to continue to fight at the same time. And students loved him because they said simply, he articulated what they were thinking, that indeed it was an unjust war. So, you had to love him. And so I would, ah, when he fought, I would like make myself, force myself to come and watch him fight. But I knew that I was not just seeing him in an arena. Because you see, these things are not just about fights. They're always about the, ah, ah, the struggle for peoples' minds. So when people played baseball or fight- or fights, they struggling for the minds of people, saying come over to my side, you see, and not that other side. So I recognized this. I was always pulling for him to win because then it meant he won some other people over to his side, you see, so...