Revisiting Ali in Miami

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I can’t believe it’s been almost a decade since one of our rock star contributors (and former editor) Gaspar Gonzalez wrote a story about Muhammad Ali’s Miami years for us. Gonzalez made a documentary about Ali in that period entitled Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami. We called Gonzalez to get his thoughts on that story and dug through our archives to link the story here at  https://issuu.com/jespublishing/docs/ali_2016 for our readers.

This is what Gaspar Gonzalez had to say: “How did Cassius Clay become Muhammad Ali? That’s the question Alan Tomlinson and I explored in our 2008 national PBS documentary Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami. Beginning with Clay’s arrival in Miami in 1960, the film follows the young phenom through his friendship with Malcolm X, his historic clash with champion Sonny Liston in 1964, and his embrace of the Nation of Islam. It’s an important chapter in American culture, but it’s also one hell of a good story. What writer or filmmaker could resist? Being able to delve into that story—first on film and then in print for the readers of Boca Raton—was an immensely rewarding experience. With Ali’s death on June 3, it seems an appropriate time to revisit it.”

Gaspar González  has produced documentary programming for PBS, ESPN, and others. He is currently writing and producing the feature-length documentaries A Long Way from Home: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Desegregation and Errol Flynn’s Ghost, about the cultural impact of American movies in 20th century Cuba. His work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Cinematheque.