On Tuesday, September 21 at 5:30pm ET | 4:30pm CT, Join WTTW and PBS Books via Facebook Live for a Performance and Talk with Kwame Alexander, author of Becoming Muhammad Ali. Brandis Friedman, co-anchor and correspondent for WTTW’s flagship nightly newsmagazine Chicago Tonight and host of Chicago Tonight: Black Voices, will moderate the conversation.
Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, publisher, and New York Times bestselling author of 35 books, notably Swing; Becoming Muhammad Ali, co-authored with James Patterson; Booked, longlisted for the National Book Award; Rebound, shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie Medal (UK); The Undefeated, a picture book illustrated by Kadir Nelson that won the Caldecott and Newbery Medals; and his Newbery Medal-winning novel The Crossover.
Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse. We meet his family, neighbors, and childhood friends, and follow his struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing.
You will learn about Cassius’ childhood in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve. Just three years later, he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali.