The Day I (Didn’t) Me(e)t Muhammad Ali

It was the first hour of my first day ever on American soil. I was seated at O’Hare Airport, waiting for my connecting flight when they entered: Muhammad Ali, his wife and son.
Initially, i thought my tired eyes were playing tricks on me, but the few other people that were also in the waiting area started to go over, shake his hand, and get autographed pictures.
I couldn’t believe it; true serendipity. And a good omen to boot.
But what did i do? Nothing. I just sat there inert, mere feet away from one of greatest personalities to have ever lived, because i ‘didn’t want to bother him‘. Because ‘he was probably as exhausted as i was and just wanted to get home in peace’. That may have well been the case. Nonetheless, it remains one of the silliest choices I’ve made.
I recall being moved at how accommodating he was towards these strangers, even though his affliction made even the smallest of gestures a feat of will.
“Unapologetic Blackness” is a buzz phrase of late; casually bandied about to the point where its depth and true meaning have been diluted to the point of farce.
But Muhammad Ali stood rooted firmly in this principle, through all the consequences that came with it, and emerged victorious on the other side.
His impact in the ring was matched by his acts of defiance ( and inspiration) outside of it.
They simply don’t make them like that anymore.
Rest well Legend.

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4 responses to “The Day I (Didn’t) Me(e)t Muhammad Ali

  1. Great post once again. So succinctly put. Felt the same sort of inertia towards lots of folks I should have approached – especially the ladies 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chale you lose your guard for that one . But don’t worry maybe you will be fortunate to meet someone like Oprah or Michelle next.

    Liked by 1 person

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