Events | Performance and Talk with Kwame Alexander, Author of Becoming Muhammad Ali

Performance and Talk with Kwame Alexander, Author of Becoming Muhammad Ali


Tue, September 21, 2021
4:30 PM



Please 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.

The WTTW presentation of MUHAMMAD ALI is made possible, in part, by Binny’s Beverage Depot. Major support comes from Rita and John Canning, Marshall Field V, Denny and Sandy Cummings, Sylvia Furner, the Mary and Mark Hoppe Family, Larry and Mary Mages, Catherine M. and Frederick H. Waddell, and WTTW Members.

Corporate funding for MUHAMMAD ALI was provided by Bank of America. Major funding was provided by David M. Rubenstein. Major funding was also provided by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by The Better Angels Society and by its members Alan and Marcia Docter; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Tudor Jones; The Fullerton Family Charitable Fund; Gilchrist and Amy Berg; The Brooke Brown Barzun Philanthropic Foundation, The Owsley Brown III Philanthropic Foundation and The Augusta Brown Holland Philanthropic Foundation; Perry and Donna Golkin; John and Leslie McQuown; John and Catherine Debs; Fred and Donna Seigel; Susan and John Wieland; Stuart and Joanna Brown; Diane and Hal Brierley; Fiddlehead Fund; Rocco and Debby Landesman; McCloskey Family Charitable Trust; Mauree Jane and Mark Perry; and Donna and Richard Strong. And viewers like you.

Thanks to our sponsors: