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Unknown Photographer



Heavyweight Champion Cassius Clay, back home after a tour of African nations, said he would feel safer in Mississippi than in New York, where integration is preached but not always practiced, July 2, 1964
Vintage wire photograph on paper
9 x 6 9/16 in. (22.86 x 16.67 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.1088

Commentary
Cassius Makes A Point: Heavyweight Champion Cassius Clay, back home after a tour of African nations, said today he would feel safer in Mississippi than in New York, where integration is preached but not always practiced. He said the Civil Rights Bill passed by Congress, won't solve the problem. He said the Black Muslims have the answer in complete separation of the races, Louisville.

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.) (1942-2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. Nicknamed "The Greatest", he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest boxers of all time. At the age of 22, in 1964, he won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset. He then changed his name from Cassius Clay, which he called his "slave name", to Muhammad Ali. He set an example of racial pride for blacks and resistance to white domination during the Civil Rights Movement. As a Muslim, Ali was initially affiliated with Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam (NOI) and advocated their black separatist ideology. He later disavowed the NOI, adhering to Sunni Islam, practicing Sufism, and supporting racial integration, like his former mentor Malcolm X. In 1966, two years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali further antagonized the white establishment by refusing to be drafted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs, and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He was eventually arrested, found guilty of draft evasion charges, and stripped of his boxing titles. He successfully appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971, by which time he had not fought for nearly four years and thereby lost a period of peak performance as an athlete. Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

Bibliography
Associated Press ID #6407020160

Marks
On recto: typewritten title and date.
On verso: manuscript title, Associated Press stamp and date stamp.

Materials
Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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Dimensions
  • Image Dimensions: 9 x 6 9/16 in. (22.86 x 16.67 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 9 15/16 x 8 1/16 in. (25.24 x 20.48 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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