Picture this #3

Rome, 1960.

An 18 year old Cassius Clay receives his gold medal in Rome 1960 – an image overloaded with magnificently sinister backlighting and potent foreshadowing (see below).

Clay, wide eyed, smiling – a boy standing tall above men. And what men – heavy set, bulky, a little big ugly. I suspect that at least two of the three went on to become goons swatted aside by Sean Connery underneath a volcano. It’s not just youth triumphing however. The previous year had witnessed the last white man to win the heavyweight championship – the image perfectly captures this shift.

Of course, even without what we know, even without Will Smith bio-pics, this picture is about Clay’s impossible charisma. But we do know what happened next. In a week where Pop Lifer is saluting Frank Ocean’s brave, potentially career destroying declarations, it is worth doffing a cap to another remarkable stand. Within a decade this 18 year old would have converted to Islam, dodged a draft, served time.

“I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong… No Viet Cong ever called me nigger”.

By Chris


About PopLifer

bloggists at www.poplifer.com
This entry was posted in Miscellany, Politics, Sport, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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