Float Like a Butterfly

“People sometimes ask me if I’m ever afraid to speak out. My answer is no. Fear is a prison and I have been imprisoned all my life. All my life I have been afraid of the consequences of being myself. All my life I have been afraid of my truth. Whether it be the truth of my nappy hair, the truth of my ghettoness, or the truth of my intelligence, I feared it would make others uncomfortable. I spent 24 years locked in a box labeled ‘The American Dream.’ I spent 24 years dying, burdened by the truth of my own identity. To be afraid now would be a slap in the face. It is an honor to get to be me. I will never succumb to fear. I have to choose this life, even if it kills me, even if I end up penniless. Because the alternative is simply unbearable.”

Muhammad Ali


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