Muhammad Ali at Logan Hall, Tuskegee Institute
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On November 23, 1966, the Tuskegee Institute SGA brought the Heavyweight Champ of the World Muhammad Ali, as part of his college speaking tour, to Tuskegee to talk to the students before the Cramton Bowl Classic. Before Muhammad Ali spoke, Tuskegee’s Coach Leroy Smith took the stage to discuss the next day’s rivalry game versus Alabama State University. Ali would then go on to discuss his life since defeating Cleveland Williams in the Astrodome, his conversion to the Nation of Islam, and his decision to change his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. Ali then discussed his views on the efforts of the major Civil Rights leaders and their movement to seek equality. Minister John Shabazz, of Los Angeles, travelled with Ali on this college tour. Ali brought Shabazz on stage to talk about the “Standards of Greatness” in the Nation of Islam and the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Ali ends the talk by reciting a poem about his fight against Terrell, discussing the “Phantom Punch” in the Liston fight, and showing off the “Ali Shuffle.” This event was recorded on a 7-inch reel-to-reel and digitized by the Tuskegee University Archives.
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