With the passing of the major sports legend Muhammad Ali on June 3, 2016, we decided to showcase significant African American athletes and their contributions to a variety of sports in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Bridgwaters Lounge exhibit. Ali became a professional boxer in 1960 and ended his career in 1981 with an impressive career record of 56 wins and 5 losses. Ali had an intense devotion toward the sport and refueled public interest in boxing with his life as a heavyweight boxing champion.
Other athletes in the exhibit excel in the sports of tennis, track and field, basketball, and baseball. The athletes included are Tommie Smith, Wilma Rudolph, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Michael Jordan, Lisa Leslie, Arthur Ashe, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams. All of these people devoted their lives to sports and demonstrated their remarkable strength as athletes.
In the famous words of Muhammad Ali, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
Hoffer, R. (2016, June 13). Muhammad Ali 1942—2016. (cover story). Sports Illustrated. p. 30.
Marks, H. S. (2016). Muhammad Ali. Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia.