"Muhammad Ali — The Measure of a Man."
(Spring 1967). Freedomways, 7(2), 101-102.
"In recent months, with increasing frequency, it has been necessary to
use the Editorial pages of Freedomways to call attention to attacks upon
particular individuals by the Government as well as other agencies of
So begins the Spring 1967 Freedomways editorial. What necessitated
this particular editorial was the latest attack against Muhammad Ali —
the stripping his heavyweight boxing title because of his refusal to be inducted
into the military. The editors called the decision an "arrogant, presumptious
act." Their argument was not centered around the immorality of the war itself
or Muhammad Ali's constitutionally guaranteed rights to object on religious
"While we are not claiming any special privelege for Negro Americans,
what we are challenging is the moral right of this nation, based upon
its record, to insist that any black man must put on the military
uniform, at any time, and go thousands of miles away from these shores
to risk his life for a society which has historically been his oppressor."
Though his stand against the war resulted in Ali "giving up a
small fortune, ...he has undoubtedly gained the respect and admiration of
a very large part of humanity. That, after all, is the measure of a Man."