There are so, so many reasons to honor Muhammad Ali.
Here’s a man who, as a child, pulled himself up out of the rough streets of Louisville, became an athlete, then became an Olympic athlete, became a professional athlete at a time of desegregation and prejudice against African-Americans, became a living symbol of how the government can try to crush people whose beliefs are considered unacceptable by some officials, fought his way back to the top of his profession and, even while facing a crippling illness, continued to live his life as an example to others.
Ali is a true hero.
The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, is a really very good repository and collection of the many highlights of his life. Medals and personal mementoes abound and – most compelling to me, in a way – film of some of his fights plays non-stop on monitors in the building.
The Ali center has a lot of weight but isn’t boring. The color and drama of Ali’s life is recreated.
Above is my iPhone snapshot of one of artist LeRoy Neiman’s paintings of Ali, of course. The original is on display in the center.
Inside the center, besides the display of Ali artifacts, are demonstrations of Ali’s reach on young people, including these tiles painted by children.
And outside the beautiful building is a sunny plaza overseen by images of The Greatest himself.
The Ali Center is worth a visit.