The Great Friendship between Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali
By Moses Kamuiru
Allah, the Supreme Being
Cassius stretched his neck as he saw Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad and a group of other officials into the speaker’s platform. The crowd’s reverence for the messenger could be felt amid the awestruck silence. After opening his traditional remarks “As-salaam Alaikum and Wa-Alaikum Salaam,” Malcolm X gave his opening remarks and defended the Nations doctrine. He argued that African Americans of the Islam faith were not a hate group, a sect nor a cult. He asserted that they were a group that believed that Allah is the Supreme Being.
The Greatest of all Time
When Malcolm had finished, Muhammad Ali, the featured speaker, like a royal descending from his throne, rose from his large chair and walked over to the stage. Cassius listened carefully as a slight boxer with a receding hairline firmly asserted that the black person had been made a slave for four centuries, reiterating what Clay had heard at the Miami Mosque. He noted that four hundred years is a long time for a master to mistreat you and for two hours Muhammad zealously preached while Rudy and Cassius sat back and practically led the applauses in the crowded arena. Muhammad Ali declared that the time to rise is now flanked by twenty to thirty members of the fruit. He urged that it was the time for African Americans to renounce what he called games of the white men and abandon the struggle for integration. He condemned the Los Angeles Police for the murder of Ronald Stokes and reminded his parents who were honored guests in the audience that their son did not die in vain. He promised that the judgment day of the white man was to come before long.
A Black Only State
The famous boxer demanded that the government of the United States should set aside a state where African Americans could live independently from the white citizens. Malcolm x who was seated just a few meters away nodded in agreement as he listened meticulously. Ali asserted that Blacks and whites were two different people and the only way out was to live separately. Clay heard a message that day that reminded him of what his father had always taught him, that he should always stay away from the white men because they never treated any Black fairly.
Reality of being Black in America
That day’s message asserted what the little boy had read in magazines and Newspapers and seen on the electronic media which included images of the mutilated body of Emmett Till, The bombing of King’s Montgomery home and a white mob assaulting teenagers of African American descent outside a Little Rock High school. Malcolm x had influenced Clay drawing him closer towards the inner circle of the US. Malcolm, on the other hand, had no idea what effect he had impacted on the Young boxer that day in Detroit Michigan.