What Happened When Muhammad Ali Took an Ancestry Test

Muhammad Ali
Abeni Jones
September 9, 2021

Muhammad Ali was a man who stood against racism and the oppression of Black people. He even changed his name from Cassius Clay because he didn’t want to give life to white supremacy. But an ancestry report recently revealed the heroism dripping from his lineage.

According to the family’s research, Ali is the great-great-great grandson of Archer Alexander, a formerly enslaved man who performed risky acts of heroism during the Civil War. 

After escaping enslavement, Archer stealthily delivered information to the Union Army, contributing not just to his own freedom but to the freedom of all Black people.

Jonathan Eig, the author of “Ali: A Life,” had this to say: “Ali spent much of his life attacking racist ideas… If he had known that his great-great-great grandfather was such a brave and intelligent man, it surely would have strengthened his argument.”

Muhammad Ali’s family says that if he were alive today, Ali would be so proud to know that he descended from such a heroic lineage - a legacy Ali bravely carried on.

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