I shook his hand, he shook my heart
As a young man, I loved sports: football, basketball, track, wrestling …
I learned to respect athletic accomplishment, stature, intellect, social consciousness. I witnessed the amazing growth in fame of Muhammed Ali who became the most recognizable man on the planet, who also grew in his personal/spiritual beliefs and who stood steadfast in his convictions, who decided it was his right to stand against induction into the armed forces as a conscientious objector.
I attended Oswego State University (’70-’71) when Ali came to speak. I was honored to meet this icon, this great man, this strong brother, and he shook my hand and spoke very softly; made me feel so small in stature as he was a large man, yet his message still rings loud … be courageous, conscious and create a path for your life built upon what guides your heart.
In honor of Black History Month, I want to share how I marvel at his life, his accomplishments. Since his passing, I shed a tear that fell like a libation on the ground and I envisioned his smile and his demeanor.
Remembrance of Ali now brings a smile, and I’ll never forget — somehow he is still shaking my hand and my heart.
— Reflection submitted by Anthony “Amali” Williams