RECLAIM WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU COME FROM
When Muhammad Ali—then Cassius Marcellus Clay—was twelve years old, a thief stole his new red Schwinn bicycle outside of the annual Louisville Home Show.
Clay, in tears, found a policeman to report the crime to and stated that he wanted to “whup” the thief who stole his bike.
Had young Cassius not been the victim of a stolen bicycle; had he not taken the advice of the police officer; his life would certainly have taken a different path.
Cassius Clay’s stolen bike became a catalyst for his boxing career and illustrates how Cassius found victory and purpose in the midst of calamity at an early age.
What is a RED BIKE MOMENT?
Most of us can recall a transformational event in our lives that occurred because of a challenge or adversity. Muhammad Ali experienced an awakening and began to seriously consider the realities of racial tensions in America and the effects of segregation and Jim Crow in mid-20th Century America. At a very young age, Muhammad made a conscious decision to use his platform as the Heavyweight Champion of the World to advoacte for equal rights, Black Power, and African redemption at home and abroad. Muhammad Ali utilized his “Red Bike Moment” as a catalyst to embrace the Black radical tradition of audacious self-assertion.
At the tender age of 6 years old, Bakari Lumumba stumbled upon his parents seldom read Ebony Pictorial History of Black America book collection. Where he learned about the great Marcus Garvey, Joesph Cinque, and the horrors of the Middle Passage and the MAAFA (African Holocaust). This eye-opening experience led to an unapologetic stance of Black pride, and a steadfast desire to fight against anti-Black racism at a very young age.