Abstract

This essay explores the domestic and international implications of the 1974 title match between Ali and Foreman in Zaire. Beamed across the world via satellite, the bout was a global spectacle of Black Power and Black Nationalism. Ali was a pan-African star whose Islamic religion and opposition to the Vietnam War made him a global champion in an era of colonial rebellion. The bout also dramatized the crumbling civil rights consensus in the black community, as Ali embodied Black Nationalism and sixties rebellion, while Foreman defended the establishment and liberal civil rights. His flag-waving gesture during the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, made him a patriotic counter to black rebels in sport and a rescuer of an American belief in its national exceptionalism. Pan-African star Ali took advantage of the African setting to win over the African masses, who rooted for him as an anti-colonial hero.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2155-8455
Print ISSN
0094-1700
Pages
pp. 81-97
Launched on MUSE
2012-09-12
Open Access
No
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