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UNC CH Muhammad Ali and other African American Athletes Essay

– Muhammad Ali once said that he was “a new kind of black man” (King of the World, xiii/xix in the 2015 edition). Using information from course readings and lectures, write an essay in which you assess the degree to which Muhammad Ali was or was not different from the other African American athletes we have read about and discussed in this course. In other words, was Ali a new type of black athlete? Why or why not?

– To answer this question convincingly you must substantively compare and contrast Muhammad Ali with at least three of the black athletes that we have discussed who preceded him. As a reminder, possible athletes to consider for comparison include (but are not limited to): Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, Paul Robeson, Wilma Rudolph, Floyd Patterson, and Sonny Liston

– An outstanding essay will (1) have a clear, forceful argument in your opening paragraph in which you explain why Ali was or was not significantly different to the black athletes that preceded him; (2) will support and develop that argument by using evidence and examples drawn from lectures, course readings (don’t forget the secondary source essays that we assigned on Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and Wilma Rudolph—thy can be very helpful here), and especially, King of the World; and (3) will present counter-evidence—that is, it will include a developed discussion of why one might answer the question counter to the way you are, but then explain why your interpretation is more compelling.

– Please use Chicago/Turabian style footnotes in your essay. I have posted a Footnote Guide on Sakai to help you with the formatting. If you have questions beyond that, please come and see me or your Teaching Assistant (please note that you do not need to footnote information that comes from lecture).


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