Pound-for-pound two of the top children’s book writers James Patterson and Kwame Alexander teamed up to write Becoming Muhammad Ali about the beginnings of the greatest boxer of all-time.
Before he became the greatest to compete inside the squared circle, Cassius Clay faced obstacles like other children.
Patterson and Alexander describe his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse.
The Roman Show spoke to Alexander, who joined us all the way from London. He was a part of this year’s virtual Miami Book Fair.
A FAN OF ALI
“I was a huge Ali fan as a kid and an avid reader and around middle school my father started giving me these books to read. I just wasn’t interested in books and even his PHD dissertation,” he said.
A BOOK FOR THE CURRENT TIME
Alexander also added, “I happened to be in the garage, and I discovered this book the greatest the autobiography of Muhammad Ali and I couldn’t put it down. It got me excited about reading.”
Both writers started to work on the back last spring.
Ironically, this book came out during the current racial injustice protests.
“The tension is not so current that we have been dealing with social injustice as black people in America since we were kidnapped and brought us,” he said.
Moreover, he said, “Ali was a big proponent of social justice and freedom for black people and oppressed people around the word.”
Patterson and Alexander worked with the Ali estate to get the most accurate information on the heavyweight boxer.
“I interviewed people he knew. I got to listen to oral history tapes of his best friends growing up so there was a lot of research,” he stated.
All in all, the book is a motivational guide for the future generations he said.
“Young people can learn about perseverance, resilience and standing up through this book because that is what Ali as a kid faced,” he added.
The book is available for purchase.
Hear the complete interview available now.