I glanced at the New York Times yesterday and saw an interesting headline attached to a picture which seemed harmless. The photo was of six black boys haphazardly surrounding a twenty-two year old Muhammad Ali who himself is chatting with a six years old mulatto girl who sheepishly looks as if she was answering his question.
Good enough, but then I read the headline, “How Ali Met His First Love”.
Suddenly, my back grew tense and I felt uneasy.
Muhammad Ali – boxing champ, activist, humanitarian actually married a girl, albeit much later in life, who he met when she was six years old – and he was twenty two?
The entire narrative was creepy.
Of course the New York Times placed a spin on the picture and thus the story – the initial meeting between Ali and his fourth wife, Lonnie Ali, who was born Yolanda Williams, would be framed as a remarkable example of the fates.
Nonetheless, later that day, I read about Michael Jace, an African-American bit actor who starred in the television show “The Shield” and movies such as “Planet of the Apes” and “Forest Gump”.
Jace was convicted in California for killing his mulatto wife of ten years because he was broke.
Tough thing about those acting jobs, work sometimes is steady, but for the most part the salary in the entertainment industry is usually not as great as one would think. Indeed, acting can be a crippling career especially for a fifty-three year old bit-actor.
Add the fact that Jace did not marry a woman who resembled his mother, in addition to the political and social environment African people are subjected to in America – it is easy to understand why I have always seen a correlation between an African man marrying a mulatto and him being a self-loathing alienated man.
Dr. Amos Wilson described Alienation as:
“to feel estranged or separated from; indifferent or hostile toward; unfamiliar with; fearful of; withdrawn from; unconnected to; to have lost remembrance or accurate knowledge of an identity with one’s true, undistorted self, historical self and culture, and important segments of reality. Loss of sense of self. The irrational feeling that one is someone else, that one’s body is grotesque. Feelings of aimlessness, normlessness, purposelessness, hopelessness, meaninglessness; of being unmotivated by one’s own self-originated needs and values; of being compelled or retarded by unknown, but irresistible forces.”
A pale skin fetish will have a black man chasing mirages.
Neither Muhammad Ali or Michael Jace lived in reality, both married multiracial people and both decided to vest themselves in anti-African views and ways at looking at the world.
How do I know?
Recall, all of Ali’s wives were multiracial women.
Nonetheless, these men represent paths black men take, one was a firebrand – brave at times, sold himself as a black nationalist – only to behave in ways which no nationalist of any color should and the other, Michael Jace – not so famous, closer to the lifestyle of the average African American male – sought to inflate his ego by displaying to all (mainly other non Africans) that he could attain a mulatto female. Yet instead of the action rallying praise, it displayed Michael Jace’s lack of a healthy ego.