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Metro Newsroom

Council members put Historical Ali Marker on display in the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

Thursday March 1, 2012

For Immediate Release:
Majority Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622

There is something new at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage to remind anyone who walks through Louisville’s West End that “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali called this city his home before making his name in the world.

“Muhammad Ali’s work and humanitarianism has given him worldwide acclaim, so it is only right that we honor the place where it all began,” said Councilman David Tandy (D-4). “As we strive to encourage our youth to aspire for greatness, it is important that we recognize and celebrate the visionaries that have paved the way and given verifiable proof that greatness is more than possible right here in our community.”

The bronze historical marker that eventually will be placed at 3302 Grand Avenue, the home where Ali grew up. It will be on display at the Heritage Center while final preparations are made for the installation on Grand Avenue sometime in the Spring.

“While Muhammad Ali is known the world over for his humanitarian work, I am happy this marker will serve as a reminder for everyone that he has roots in Louisville’s West End,” said Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5). “It will be an example to others of how humble beginnings can lead to greatness.”

District 1,2,3,4, and 5 of the Metro Council provided funding for the historical marker back in 2010.

I am happy to have this marker in the African American Community. It will inspire adults and particularly youth. The world knows him as the "Greatest" but he holds this title not only for his boxing accomplishments,” said Woolridge. “We want them to know that he used him fame to promote peace and justice and helped many causes throughout the world.”

One side of the Marker read: Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born on January17, 1942. He grew up and lived in this house at 3302 Grand Avenue with his parents Odessa and Cassius Clay Sr., and brother Rudolph.

On the opposite side a quote from Ali: Education brings self-respect. The Clay family was part of the black middle class of Louisville which, at the time, was separated by racial segregation. Still young, Cassius would transform into three-time heavyweight champion and world-renowned humanitarian Muhammad Ali

“Let this marker serve as a reminder to all that you can come from very humble beginnings but you always have the chance to do good in the world and be a voice for peace and harmony in a troubled world,” said Shanklin.

The marker will remain at the Center until the final preparations are made for its installation and dedication on Grand Avenue

David Tandy (D) 4
Attica Scott (D) 1
Barbara Shanklin (D) 2
Mary C. Woolridge (D) 3
Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D) 5