ESPN will provide live coverage of Muhammad Ali’s memorial service Friday in his hometown of Louisville, KY. As a result, the network is shifting its coverage of the opening match of the European soccer championships between host France and Romania to ESPN2. Coverage for both events begin at 2 PM ET.
Ali died Friday in Arizona after suffering for years with Parkinson’s disease. The three-time heavyweight champ and worldwide sports icon was 74.
Former President Bill Clinton,Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel are among those scheduled to give eulogies at the service, to be held as the 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center. That comes after a funeral procession travels along Muhammad Ali Boulevard and past his boyhood home on its way to Cave Hill Cemetery. The pallbearers include Will Smith, who played the champ in 2001’s Ali.
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Muhammad Ali, the three-time world heavyweight boxing champion who helped define his turbulent times as the most charismatic and controversial sports figure of the 20th century, died on Friday. He was 74.
His death was confirmed by Bob Gunnell, a family spokesman.
Ali was the most thrilling if not the best heavyweight ever, carrying into the ring a physically lyrical, unorthodox boxing style that fused speed, agility and power more seamlessly than that of any fighter before him.
But he was more than the sum of his athletic gifts. An agile mind, a buoyant personality, a brash self-confidence and an evolving set of personal convictions fostered a magnetism that the ring alone could not contain.
Ali was as polarizing a superstar as the sports world has ever produced — both admired and vilified in the 1960s and ’70s for his religious, political and social stances. His refusal to be drafted during the Vietnam War, his rejection of racial integration at the height of the civil rights movement, his conversion from Christianity to Islam and the changing of his “slave” name, Cassius Clay, to one bestowed by the Nation of Islam, were perceived as serious threats by the conservative establishment and noble acts of defiance by the liberal opposition.
Loved or hated, he remained for 50 years one of the most recognizable people on the planet.
In later life Ali became something of a secular saint, a legend in soft focus. He was respected for having sacrificed more than three years of his boxing prime and untold millions of dollars for his antiwar principles after being banished from the ring; he was extolled for his un-self-conscious gallantry in the face of incurable illness, and he was beloved for his accommodating sweetness in public.
That passive image was far removed from the exuberant, talkative, vainglorious 22-year-old who bounded out of Louisville, Ky., and onto the world stage in 1964 with an upset victory over Sonny Liston to become the world champion. The press called him the Louisville Lip. He called himself the Greatest.
Ali also proved to be a shape-shifter — a public figure who kept reinventing his persona.
As a bubbly teenage gold medalist at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, he parroted America’s Cold War line, lecturing a Soviet reporter about the superiority of the United States. But he became a critic of his country and a government target in 1966 with his declaration “I ain’t got nothing against them Vietcong.”
“He lived a lot of lives for a lot of people,” said the comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory. “He was able to tell white folks for us to go to hell.”
If there was a supertitle to Ali’s operatic life, it was this: “I don’t have to be who you want me to be; I’m free to be who I want.” He made that statement the morning after he won his first heavyweight title. It informed every aspect of his life, including the way he boxed.
The traditionalist fight crowd was appalled by his style; he kept his hands too low, the critics said, and instead of allowing punches to “slip” past his head by bobbing and weaving, he leaned back from them.
Eventually his approach prevailed. Over 21 years, he won 56 fights and lost five. His Ali Shuffle may have been pure showboating, but the “rope-a-dope” — in which he rested on the ring’s ropes and let an opponent punch himself out — was the stratagem that won the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman in 1974, the fight in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in which he regained his title.
Olivia Allen, 10, has already taken her first steps to becoming a philanthropist. Allen, who lives in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted a free conference for her peers on August 22 titled, “I Can Be: Girls Confidence Conference.”
“It’s important to give back,” Allen told The Huffington Post. “There are a lot of people in our community and if I help someone, they’ll help someone else… and it will be a cycle.”
About 50 girls ages 8 to 12, and their parents, attended the conference as Allen led her peers in a morning filled with workshops that touched on the physical, social and psychological challenges young girls face, mainly by tackling wavering self-esteem.
Allen said, this conference was necessary because she noticed a decline in morale among young girls in her community.
“I realize some girls’ confidence goes down when they start puberty,” Allen said, admitting that she even noticed a difference in her own at times. Because of this, she said, she wanted to do something to uplift others.
Allen spent this summer planning the conference mainly on her own and had financial assistance from her mother, Anitra Allen. She contacted speakers to help lead three separate workshops that focused on envisioning success, turning a passion into a business and personal health care.
The conference also featured two keynote speakers (Barbara Sexton Smith and Ashley D. Miller) who addressed confidence and pursuing your dreams. Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville, opened the conference and commended Allen for her work in the community.
According to her mom, Allen has always had a caring spirit. She said, her daughter once told her after seeing a panhandler one day after school, “Mommy, every time I see a homeless person, I just want to raise money to buy them a house.” She suggested her daughter do something more feasible to help out her community and Allen took her advice, she said, by holding a toy drive in March where she collected more than 100 toys for Kosair Charities. One month following the toy drive, Allen organized a food drive where she fed underprivileged children in her community.
The confidence conference was Allen’s most recent community outreach event, but she told HuffPost it wouldn’t be her last. She plans on continuing her work in the community and holding another conference for girls soon, she said.
“The importance of having a conference like this is to show girls what they can be,” her mom told HuffPost. “I never want to tell her she can’t do anything.”
Allen attributes much of her confidence to both her parents and her spiritual upbringing. Her career aspirations currently include everything from becoming a fashion designer, mathematician, news anchor, actress, singer and more.
“It was important to me because it was important to her,” her mom said. “Confidence is one of those things that can dictate what you decide to do and that will influence who you think you are.”
LOUISVILLE – Simmons College has become accredited as the first private Historically Black College and University in Kentucky and is only the second HBCU in the state, along with Kentucky State University, a public institution.
“Simply put, accreditation is value,” explained President Kevin Cosby. “It is proof that Simmons has met national standards necessary to produce graduates who are prepared to enter into selected professions.” He explained, “The accreditation of Simmons College of Kentucky will have a ripple effect throughout west Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is the most monumental achievement, by African Americans, to take place in the state in the last 100 years.”
Most HBCUs were founded in the post-Civil War era, when Blacks were not allowed to attend college with Whites. Today, many private HBCUs are struggling to remain keep their doors open. Last summer, St. Paul’s College, a private Black institution in Lawrenceville, Va., ceased operating after being in existence since 1888. Its 35 buildings and 183 acres have been put up for public auction.
After a big dinner, we enjoy mixing up a classic digestive cocktail known as the Stinger. Inevitably, we all end up in the library with drinks in hand. We keep a framed image of a distinguished looking gentleman among our cocktail books. This encourages guests to ask about his identity and opens up conversation to educate people on the first African American cocktail book author in known American history–Tom Bullock.
Not much is known about Mr. Bullock. He appears to have been born in Kentucky to a freed married couple in 1873. He made bartending fame at the Pendennis Club in Louisville as well as the St. Louis Country Club. He served quite a few powerful people, including George Herbert Walker, the grandfather of our 41st President George Herbert Walker Bush, who was such a fan he wrote the forward in Mr. Bullock’s book.
The earliest Stinger recipe we have in our cocktail book collection goes back to Tom Bullock’s The Ideal Bartender published in 1917. The Stinger is an after-dinner drink typically made with brandy, though various other liquors can be substituted. Mr. Bullock instructs to make a stinger in the following manner:
Stinger–Country Club Style
Use a large Mixing glass; fill with Lump Ice.
1 jigger Old Brandy.
1 pony white Creme de Menthe.
Shake well; strain into Cocktail glass and serve.
I prefer a two to one ratio of even more brandy to menthe. No matter the proportions, the stinger has been seen sipped in the swankiest New York nightspots and remains a classic the world over.
Evonne Lee, a dying cancer patient, got her wish Tuesday when she married her longtime boyfriend at the hospital where she is expected to die, WAVE 3 reports. Hospital staff at University Hospital in Louisville, Ky., consider Lee an inspiration for the way she is living the final days of her life; doctors have given her weeks to live. Lee and her new husband, Don Tyler, knew they would wed when they first first met some eight years ago. But when Lee was diagnosed with cancer last year, jumping the broom became a priority.