This week, VH1 is airing the documentary series "Lords of the Revolution," starting with an episode devoted to Muhammad Ali's cultural impact. From the promo material:
In an era defined by protest and turbulence, perhaps nobody captured the attention of America in the late 1960s more so than Muhammad Ali. As heavyweight champion, Ali electrified the sports world with his sharp tongue and showmanship flare. (His spontaneous rhymes, in fact, are often considered to be the precursor of rap.) But out of the ring, his conversion to Islam and defiant refusal to fight in Vietnam thrust him into the center of a blistering political controversy. And Ali never backed down. He gave voice to black America and helped galvanize the civil rights movement. He fueled the anti-war movement, inspiring young adults to question the government and speak out. He spoke his mind freely, defended his religious beliefs with vigor, and willingly accepted the consequences of his actions, which cost him his title and license to box.
More info on the series, including air times and clips, here.
The series is the brainchild of Martin Torgoff, who spoke on a panel about free expression featuring MP3.com founder Michael Robertson, attorney Allan Gelbard, and Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie at Reason's 40th anniversary. Check that out below (go here for related links, downloadable versions, etc.).