Netflix has issued the first trailer for the documentary Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali. The film, executively produced by Kenya Barris, examines the relationship between the two pivotal figures in American history and culture. In the preview, Reverend Al Sharpton exclaims, “They define a whole generation to be themselves and be bold.”
According to the official logline provided by the streaming platform, “Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali is the definitive documentary about legendary icons Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali featuring never before seen archival footage. The documentary feature is inspired by the book Blood Brothers written by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith.”
Blood Brothers will include interviews from Ali’s younger brother Rahman Ali, Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, images of Malcolm X and Ali together with their families, and archival footage of their speeches. Cornel West also provides commentary for the film.
During a 2016 interview on CSPAN’s Book TV, Roberts explained how the book came to be.
“I started with the idea that I wanted to write a book about Muhammad Ali,” he shared. “Johnny and I started to work on it and the more we worked on it, the more we decided what’s really interesting is how Cassius Marcellus Clay became Muhammad Ali. What went into that? And the more we looked at it the more we realized it was Malcolm X., that Cassius Clay was almost inhabiting the mind of Malcolm X.”
In 2020, Netflix released the docuseries Who Killed Malcolm X? following historian, activist, and investigative journalist Abdur-Rahman Muhammad’s deep dive into the political leader’s murder. As VIBE reported that February, Ilyasah Shabazz shared her satisfaction with the 6-part program. She was two years old when her father was assassinated in front of her, three of her sisters, and her mother, Betty Shabazz, who was at the time pregnant with twins.
“I’m really grateful that I don’t have memory as my older sisters I’m sure can recollect, being 6 years old and 4 years old, the trauma and chaos and understanding that our father never came home,” she said. “And especially to my mother who was a young woman that actually saw bullets just tear my father’s body apart.”
Blood Brothers is directed by Marcus A. Clarke and will be available on Netflix on September 9. View the trailer below: