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Muhammad Ali in the Middle of the Night

Illustration for article titled Muhammad Ali in the Middle of the Night

I already couldn’t sleep. Then this.

I have a million words and none at the same time. He was like a genuine god to me, who grew up in a single-mom household. I faintly remember old documentaries on black-and-white TVs and interviews with Dick Cavett (?). Taking it all in without really understanding what I was watching yet somehow knowing that this person was a one-in-a-million thing. All I can summon are vague, impressionistic ramblings because that’s what he was to me.. Like, his existence from afar landed on my skin like sunlight.

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I know they’re all gonna die. Sonny Rollins, Stevie Wonder, Ishmael Reed. We gettin’ old and they’re older. I know. But old-folk nostalgia has me thinking more and more that we’re living in a world that’s simply incapable of producing the likes of these men again. We’ll have different greatnesses, to be sure. But my existence simply wouldn’t be possible without these Old Gods.

Illustration for article titled Muhammad Ali in the Middle of the Night
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Video games. Comic books. Blackness.

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