1974 Congo— Muhammad Ali, Bill Withers, and Don King at the ’74 Zaire Music Festival that preceded the Rumble in the Jungle. — Photograph by © Jeffrey Levy-Hinte/Sony
When asked later if it felt like a moving, historic racial  event at the time Withers recalled, “No. It was two big guys going to  fight each other at four o’clock in the morning. It wasn’t this great  intellectual pursuit. And there’s a certain reality to going someplace  where there’s a dictator. You notice the disparity in the wealth.” And  in regard to the African-American movement that was hapeening to  re-discover their roots? “Awwww, come on, man. It wasn’t a great  historical moment. Interesting, but that was that. No great spiritual  experience. Mostly what everybody found out was–we had been shaped and  transformed by American culture and the history we had here, and they  had been shaped by whoever colonized their place. They weren’t speaking  any African languages. We were speaking English and they were speaking  French. How African is that?”

1974 Congo— Muhammad Ali, Bill Withers, and Don King at the ’74 Zaire Music Festival that preceded the Rumble in the Jungle. — Photograph by © Jeffrey Levy-Hinte/Sony

When asked later if it felt like a moving, historic racial event at the time Withers recalled, “No. It was two big guys going to fight each other at four o’clock in the morning. It wasn’t this great intellectual pursuit. And there’s a certain reality to going someplace where there’s a dictator. You notice the disparity in the wealth.” And in regard to the African-American movement that was hapeening to re-discover their roots? “Awwww, come on, man. It wasn’t a great historical moment. Interesting, but that was that. No great spiritual experience. Mostly what everybody found out was–we had been shaped and transformed by American culture and the history we had here, and they had been shaped by whoever colonized their place. They weren’t speaking any African languages. We were speaking English and they were speaking French. How African is that?”

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