One Night in Miami, written by Kemp Powers, is a film pinpointing a historical and unforgettable moment in the lives of four Black American icons whose attributes and legacies have lived on from generation to generation. The one-act play is about one night, four friends, and the life-changing decisions that could have been made at the Hampton House Motel.
Gathering of the Portrayals to watch Muhammad Ali claim the championship
The fictional play by actors Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom Jr can be watched on Amazon Prime. You can access US Amazon Prime with a VPN from other regions like Australia or anywhere else. Here you’ll get to know their discussion and roles in the civil rights movement following Muhammad Ali’s victory, formerly known as Cassius Clay, against Sonny Liston on the night of February 25, 1964, in the heavy-weight boxing championships of the world.
The story begins at the Miami Beach Convention Hall parked to the brim with the convergence of the quartet to cheer on and watch Muhammad Ali claim the title. Sam Cooke, a record label owner and groundbreaking singer supported his friend, as was the contentious and disputable minister for the Islam Nation Malcolm X.
Jim Brown, too, an unconquerable football fullback and NFL’s all-time leading rusher, was there as a ringside commentator. The fight commonly referred to as “the night Muhammad shook the world” after the heavily favored Liston refusal to go on to the seventh round ended in a not-so-expected stream of events at a quiet, simple motel in Miami.
The Hotel Room Gathering
Jim Brown wanted to proceed to an after-party at the Fontainebleau but was turned down by the new world champion who simply wanted to “have a chat at a little Black hotel.” According to A Life, the boxer’s sponsorship team had fumbled to put together a party, but the champ had managed to get away with Malcolm X and chat over bowls of ice cream at an ice cream joint.
As the night proceeds, the four end up at Malcolm’s hotel room at Hampton House motel for a discussion. A discussion that stirred news headlines the following day and left the majority in awe. The morning after the titular events, an obstinate Cassius Clay announces his ties to the Islam Nation for the first time.
Steered forward by his new status, he goes ahead to deliver a freewheeling meditation on the merits of religious movements and even distances himself from his athletic predecessors and had no plans whatsoever to move to a white neighborhood. Through his conversion, he attracted indignation from white and black Americans. The fact that he denounced Christianity was even more problematic.
In one of his interviews, he says, “We believe that forced, and token integration is but a temporary and not long-lasting solution….it is merely a pacifier” Ali goes on to add, “I don’t have to be who you want me to be, I’m free to be who I want.” This decision, however, is seen to come between him and some of his good friends and create an unbreakable distance.
The Unfortunate Death of Malcolm X and Sam Cooke
The more Cassius Clay, otherwise known as Muhammad Ali, grows closer to Elijah Muhammad, the Islam Nations’ leader, the more his friendship with Malcolm X drifts away. Months later, after the Liston-Clay fight, Malcolm X is assassinated under unclear circumstances, and the civil rights activists’ death remains a mystery.
It is not clear what might have led to the assassination. Still, questions continue are being asked every day whether it was due to his faltered friendship with Muhammad Ali or due to bad terms with Elijah Muhammad, the Islam Nation leader.
Barely two months into Malcolm’s death, festive and famous Sam Cooke succumbed to death. A catastrophic gunshot wound caused his death during a confrontation with a motel manager in Los Angeles. Investigations follow, and the authorities rule the once charismatic singer’s death as a justifiable homicide, but his legacy continues to live on among many, if not all.
The Death of Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali struggles with Parkinson’s disease for a decade and later dies in 2016 after refusing to participate in the Vietnam war and being banned from boxing.