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Date: Nov 12, 2008
Maryum Ali, Daughter of Muhammad Ali, Joins the Guest Lineup for "The Greatest: From Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali"
A Hofstra Cultural Center Conference On An American Sports Legend, November 13 and 14, 2008
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY: The Hofstra Cultural Center, which has presented international conferences on a variety of public figures such as the U.S. presidents from FDR through Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Babe Ruth, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and John Steinbeck, now turns its attention to boxing legend Muhammad Ali for an in depth examination of his life and impact on the world of sports, November 13 and 14, 2008. This two-day conference is titled The Greatest: From Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.
As a brash young man, Cassius Marcellus Clay was known as "The Lip from Louisville, Kentucky." Over the years, he has inspired millions of people throughout the world not only with his boxing prowess, but also with his courageous opposition to war and other violence, his faith and his humanitarian efforts. He has also made his mark with his words, which are now in vogue even among the hip-hop generation.
The Hofstra conference features the participation of Ali’s daugther, former trainer, business manager, other colleagues, noted sports print and broadcast journalists, sports and pop culture historians and even the author of On the Waterfront.
Recent additions to the speaker lineup include:
• Muhammad Ali's daughter, Maryum "May May" Ali
• Long Islander Kathy Collins, the only woman to win four boxing world titles (1997, 1998 (2), 2000).
• The New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dave Anderson
• Sports journalists Bill Gallo, Stan Isaacs, Wallace Matthews and Phil Pepe.
• Boxer Chuck Wepner, who fought Ali in March 1975 in Cleveland. That fight is said to have inspired
Sylvester Stallone to write the movie Rocky.
• Author of The Contender and Free to be Muhammad Ali, Robert Lipsyte
• Boxing referee Arthur Mercante - refereed Ali/Norton, Ali/Frazier, Frazier/Forman fights
• Ali business manager Gene Kilroy
• Ali trainer Angelo Dundee
• Boxing Guru and Historian Bert Randolph Sugar and HBO Sports Commentator Larry Merchant
• CW 11 sports anchor Sal Marchiano
• Screenwriter and author of On the Waterfront and author of Loser and Still Champion:
Muhammad Ali, Budd Schulberg
In addition to the conference activities, there will also be a series of performances and exhibitions presented in conjunction with the conference. These include:
3:15 p.m. “Documenting Ali - Photo Essay” by Sonia Katchian whose photos of Muhammad Ali are part of the permanent collection of the new Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, and others.
4:15 p.m. Reception hosted by the Hofstra University Museum to celebrate the exhibition The Greatest of All Time: Muhammad Ali, on display through December 2 at Emily Lowe Gallery. The photographs in this distinctive original exhibition curated by Hava Gurevich and organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions capture Ali's life, including his boxing career, family life, humanitarian work and Olympic events. Photographers include Annie Liebovitz, Gordon Parks, Steve Shapiro, Thomas Hoepker, Sonia Katchian, and Art Shay.
8 p.m. The Hofstra University Department of Drama and Dance presents Howard Sackler’s The Great White Hope at the Black Box Theater. The Great White Hope tells the fictionalized story of Jack Johnson (called "Jack Jefferson" in the play) who, in 1908, became the first African-American heavyweight champion of the world. As white America searches high and low for a champion capable of reclaiming the title, Jefferson mounts a doomed battle against the forces of institutionalized racism. There will be additional performances of the play through November 23. (Tickets are $10 with discounts for senior citizens and non-Hofstra students. Members of the Hofstra community may receive one free ticket upon presentation of a current HofstraCard.)
8 p.m. Hofstra Entertainment presents Fightin’ Words, a spoken-word performance conceived and directed by Bob Spiotto. Performed "in the ring" and surrounded by the Hofstra University Museum's photo exhibition The Greatest of All Time: Muhammad Ali, this performance consists of boxing poetry-in-performance, as well as many boxing stories, quotes and ancedotes. This knock-out performance packs a solid punch with works by Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Ford, Homer, George Plimpton, William Hazlitt, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, O. Henry, Robert Benchley, Gene Tunney, Rod Serling, Norman Mailer, Red Smith and Muhammad Ali, and others. (Tickets are $15 with discounts for senior citizens and non-Hofstra students. Members of the Hofstra community may receive one free ticket upon presentation of a current HofstraCard.)
Also scheduled is a book display at the Hofstra University Bookstore during the week of the conference of several boxing titles by some of the authors at the Conference who have agreed to do a book signing.
Registration fees are $50 regular rate; $30 senior citizens and $25 for matriculated non-Hofstra students. Conference events – with the exception of meals – are free to members of the Hofstra community upon presentation of a current HofstraCard. For more information about the conference The Greatest: From Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, please call the Hofstra Cultural Center at (516) 463-5669 or visit www.hofstra.edu/culture.
For more information on the Hofstra University Museum exhibition of the same name call (516) 463-5672 or visit www.hofstra.edu/museum. For more information on The Great White Hope and Fightin’ Words call the Hofstra Box Office at (516) 463-6644.