When Cassius Clay was born in 1942, it would take 12 more years for Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas to order the desegregation of public schools.
When Muhammad Ali died in 2016, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, tweeted, “He shook up the world, and the world’s better for it. Rest in peace, Champ.”
I take great heart from the demonstrated fact that the world can change a lot in three-quarters of a century. Not only did Muhammad Ali live to see many injustices righted (though many more certainly remain), he played a major role in bringing those changes.
That’s why, when he dubbed himself “The Greatest,” the country came to agree with him.