Mohammad Ali 1966, Fotograf unbekannt, Niederländisches Nationalarchiv, Bestandsnr. 924-3060 (beschnitten)
New York Times: What’s my Name?
I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.
If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.
I am America. I am the part you won’t recognise. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.
I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin‘ hell, but as long as they ain’t free, I ain’t free.
I had to prove you could be a new kind of black man. I had to show the world.
Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?
I got nothing against no Viet Cong. No Vietnamese ever called me a nigger.
Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.
It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
A man who has no imagination has no wings.
It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.
I have been so great in boxing they had to create an image like Rocky, a white image on the screen, to counteract my image in the ring. America has to have its white images, no matter where it gets them. Jesus, Wonder Woman, Tarzan and Rocky.
My toughest fight was with my first wife.
Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.
What’s really hurting me – the name Islam is involved, and Muslim is involved and causing trouble and starting hate and violence. Islam is not a killer religion, Islam means peace. I couldn’t just sit home and watch people label Muslims as the reason for this problem. (on 9/11)
Life is short; we get old so fast. It doesn’t make sense to waste time on hating.