In 1964, Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali. ‘Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it and I don’t want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free man…’
‘What’s my name, fool? What’s my name?’ Ali to Ernie Terrell during their 1967 fight. Terrell had refused to call him Ali.
Ali joins the Nation of Islam, and in 1967, after only 21 minutes deliberation, Ali is found guilty of a serious felony for refusing to be conscripted into the US Army to fight the Vietnam War. Explaining his decision, Ali points out that, ‘I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong. They never called me a nigger.’