Netflix Documentary ‘Blood Brothers’ Gives Insight On Muhammad Ali And Malcolm X’s Short-Lived Friendship
There was a time when rising boxing sensation Muhammad Ali and renowned activist Malcolm X were good friends. But it would later go sour – something Ali said he regrets happening.
The complicated relationship between Ali and Malcolm has been archived in a new Netflix documentary called “Blood Brothers.” The 96-minute feature film premiered on September 9.
“For three pivotal years, Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X forged a brotherhood that would not only change both men but change the world. “Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali” tells the extraordinary story behind the friendship — and the ultimate falling out — of two of the most iconic figures of the 20th century,” according to Netflix’s description.
Malcolm X was vocal and active throughout the 1950s, using his influence for black empowerment in the face of white supremacy in America. He was a Muslim Minister for the Nation of Islam under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad.
Ali – then Cassius Clay – was rising in the ranks of boxing during the late 1950s, even winning a gold medal at the Rome 1960 Olympic games.
The two met at a Nation of Islam rally in 1962 and clicked. Ali became affiliated with the religious group – later changing his name to “Muhammad Ali.”
But the fallout started after Malcolm’s comment following former President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. He told reporters “the chickens were coming home to roost.”
Malcolm was excommunicated from the religious group and Muhammad – the Nation of Islam leader – asked Ali to no longer associate with his former friend.
“Blood Brothers” covers the years of Ali and Malcolm’s friendship and fallout, ending with Malcolm’s assassination in 1965.
In Ali’s autobiography, “Soul of a Butterfly,” he wrote his regret for not making up with his friend.
“Turning my back on Malcolm was one of the mistakes that I regret most in my life. I wish I’d been able to tell Malcolm I was sorry, that he was right about so many things. But he was killed before I got the chance.”