John Warner Smith

Black Power

October 1970. Jackson 5 tops the charts.

Ali three years without a fight. Like a buzzard,

jail time hovers over his head. Tonight,

the ring is his stage again, black dramaz,

on the big screen in badass, blaxploitation fashion.

Ali coming back. Quarry, the latest Great White Hope,

a hired dream killer. But this is Muhammad Ali

after three years in exile. This is Atlanta, GA, where

black dreams come true, on a night

when blackness steps out dressed to kill. Black actors,

athletes, singers, pimps, preachers, prostitutes,

and politicians – all panache, all here to see

The Greatest, cheer him on, hear his mouth,

watch him float, duck, and jab. Ringside sideshows

decked in mink, fur, diamonds and pearls.

This is Nation Time, Civil Rights, Black Power Time.

And tonight, no one is blacker, prettier,

more right and powerful than The Champ.