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As athletes ourselves we tend to look towards other successful athletes as mentors and or heroes. Mr. Muhammad Ali is arguably the greatest boxer of all time and is an inspirational figure in almost everyone’s eyes, making him a perfect choice for our project. Almost everyone who hears about or knows a little background knowledge on Ali only knows about his outstanding boxing career and some consider him the best boxer in the world, but many don’t understand about the stand he took towards the U.S. army.
One thing we looked for when finding information and resources on Ali was the negative aspect of people who disagreed with him. This especially included civilians with a large amount of national pride who supported fighting in the war no matter what the cost. This meant that a large portion of soldiers and anyone who supported the war disagreed with Ali. There are many articles with how great a boxer Ali was but the negative articles that went towards Ali revealed more information to our research.
After living through the time of Ali and being a marine involved in the Vietnam war, Arthur Richardson, who clearly was against Ali evading the draft stated in an interview, “it’s your duty to do what your country does.” The U.S. was going into war and Arthur clearly believes it was Ali’s job to serve when called to duty. This changed our understanding/point of view on the topic since the media makes Ali out to be a hero and one of the greatest boxers who ever lived. Through this we were exposed a large sense of negativity about a character we thought had a positive impact.
Our group has taken classes and has had some experience in video production, giving us an edge to create a video documentary. We found some general music we thought would fit the entire video, then recorded the interview. After this we used Imovie to piece the movie together with the video/sound clips, an interview, as well as a voiceover and some universal music for the background. Having all the parts prepared and putting them together all at once made the project come together clean and easily meaning we had little to no problems in the process.
The topic for History Day this year is “taking a stand.” This gives the participants many opportunities and ideas for their projects. Although many other students like us jumped straight to Muhammad Ali, we decided we needed to stand out from the rest. Instead of just throwing a few pictures on a poster board we decided we should combine our skills with video production and create a documentary to get our own voice and ideas across. We didn’t want to pass up doing our project on Ali since he is a clear definition of taking stand not only for his religious beliefs but for his personal convictions as well.
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