Muhammad Ali, the professional boxer and activist DNA, was linked to a heroic slave, the archer Alexander. According to Savannah Now, the former heavyweight boxing champion was interested in meeting his ancestors and once appeared in a 1980 New York Times story that tells of his maternal ancestry. In that story, he said: “One day I would like to unearth everything that can be found on all the people I am descended from.”
But one of family members have unraveled the truth about Ali’s ancestral background and it is a very important one. According to the Washington Post, Ali’s DNA evidence shows he was the great-great-great grandson of Archer Alexander, who became a hero when he escaped from slavery and warned Union troops of a Confederate trap. The link comes from Ali’s father Cassius Clay, Sr., whose mother was Alexander’s great-granddaughter.
Alexander, born in slavery, fled courageously and then also helped his wife and children to escape. Ali’s third cousin, Keith Winstead, who is said to be a retired genealogist, used a DNA kit at home to find out about the connection. “Ali’s beauty is that he acted all the time as if he were a member of the royal family, claiming greatness,” said Ali’s author Jonathan Eig, A Life, a biography of the heavyweight champion. “He wanted to know he was connected to someone like that,” said Ali’s daughter, Maryum. “I was in front of people who understood that there was a connection that goes back to the slavery of kings and queens in Africa”.