When cassius clay emerged in the early sixties, he touched two vital areas of black life: He was the absolute personification of "black is beautiful!" and he brougt a new meaning to the idea of Black Power, not only in his ring victories, but in his amazing personal courage. He was beutiful and powerful without making that beauty and power antiwhite. Clay, and later Ali, was not only a black hero but, with his humor and antiwar stance, a hero for young white Americans as well.
-Walter Dean Myers