‘Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali’ explores relationship between the icons

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Muhammad Ali

A new Netflix documentary sets out to dig deep into the relationship between legendary civil rights activist Malcolm X and championship boxer Muhammad Ali.

"It's a beautiful story about this wonderful brotherhood and two beautiful souls that connected during this particular moment in time. I was just reading something where my father said that Muhammad Ali had ... great integrity," said Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X. "We forget what the history was like, what the social climate was like in the 1960s. It was quite challenging, you know. And we never saw any person of color saying, 'I'm beautiful,' 'I'm great,' 'I'm the greatest,' 'I'm wonderful' ... And not only a person of color, but, you know, a Muslim, right? And so, it's just a beautiful story about all of what each one of us can do with our lives."

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, would become the first fighter to win the world heavyweight championship on three separate occasions. After Ali converted to Islam in 1964, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Malcolm X, one of the most well-known American figures at the time, developed a close relationship with the boxer and began to mentor and advise him.

When X decided to leave the Nation of Islam under a cloud of controversy with the Nation's founder, their friendship ended.

Maryum Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, hopes the documentary inspires people to get involved in their communities, especially Black people.

"What I hope people get from it is actually being more active in their personal life, in their professional life, in their political life and making sure policies are, you know, manifested so we (Black people) do get that constitutional dream that we've never gotten," she said.

"Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali" is currently streaming on Netflix.

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