CGTC The Controversial Muhamm

History of Sports In America

Assignment: Answer the following prompt in a 2-3 page, double-spaced, 12-point font essay. Organize your essay into clear paragraphs with an introduction, body, and conclusion. This assignment is worth up to 25 points.

Please keep in mind that this is not a book review. The purpose of the assignment is not to summarize the book. Rather, I am interested in your ability to critically analyze the contents of the book and make connections about the relationship between boxing, race, and American culture.


In Blood Brothers, Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith explore the rise of Cassius Clay and how he became Muhammad Ali. After Clay won the heavyweight championship in 1964, he declared, “I don’t have to be who you want me to be. I’m free to be who I want.” What did Clay mean by this statement? Why was the new heavyweight champion a controversial figure? In your answer, be sure to explain how the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X influenced Cassius Clay’s religious and political views.


For quotations and paraphrasing, please cite the pages by using parenthetical references at the end of your sentences. Example: (Roberts and Smith, Blood Brothers, 10).


  • Your essay must be at least two pages long, but no longer than three pages.
  • Your essay must have a thesis statement. A thesis answers the question as specifically as possible.
  • Your introduction paragraph should provide the necessary and relevant background to lead into your argument.
  • Your essay should follow a logical path and have clear paragraphs with strong topic sentences.
  • Your essay must rely on evidence from the reading and lecture. A good essay offers specific examples to support general points.
  • Use quotes judiciously. Quotations can be effective, but overuse diminishes your authority.
  • Do not write sentences that start with “I” or “This essay will . . .” Instead, write in crisp, formal language.
  • Proofread your work! Read your essay out loud to catch mistakes and polish your language.

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