Blood Brothers: Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali: A Brief Rundown Of The Bond Between Two Cultural Icons

October 1, 2021

Recently released is a story most people are familiar with. For those that aren’t, a documentary focused on civil rights activist Malcolm X and one of the most famous heavyweight boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali’s, friendship is coming to Netflix. Here’s what you need to know about Netflix’s upcoming documentary.

Their Story

The documentary is based on a book of the same name, Blood Brothers, and is set to delve into the beginning of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali’s friendship, right up until it began to fracture. The book was written by “Georgia Tech associate history Professor Johnny Smith and his former academic advisor Purdue University history professor Randy Roberts.” According to an article by Collider, the movie uses “historical footage and interviews with family and friends” some of which include “Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, and Ali’s brother Rahman and daughters Maryum and Hana.” The trailer begins by showing what brought these two great individuals together. Both found shared ground in their faith in Islam. Likewise they were both outspoken intellectuals, advocating for civil rights during the era of segregation. Through these commonalities, they became brothers. The trailer for the documentary goes on to cite anecdotes by the aforementioned interviewees, attesting to their powerful friendship. Divisions in ideology would be what caused their bond to unravel, how and why it got to this point is something the documentary seeks to answer. 

NYFA recently had the honor to host the director of the documentary, Marcus A. Clarke. He explained that he was struck by the absence of any real record of their friendship and aimed to bring about awareness of the subjects’ relationship.

Overall, the documentary appears to promise an enriching as well as introspective look at both men, their beliefs, and how these beliefs evolved as time progressed. Blood Brothers: Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali released on Netflix September 9th, 2021 and is available now to steam.