On March 6, 1964, the heavyweight boxer known as Cassius Marcellus Clay IV announced to the world he would no longer answer to the name he’d been assigned at birth. Instead, he would only respond to his new name: Muhammad Ali.
“Has anyone gave you the name,” a reporter questioned.
“Yes, sir. My leader and teacher Elijah Muhammad,” a young Ali answered.
In a forthcoming documentary on HBO, What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali examines the road from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. Directed by Antonie Fuqua, (Training Day, Southpaw, The Equalizer) with executive production by Lebron James and Maverick Carter, What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali will also detail the spiritual change the boxer underwent and how that translated into the ring.
“Muhammad means worthy of all praises and Ali means most high,” Ali said.
As one of the world’s most iconic figures, Ali would go on to become a world champion and central figure in civil rights.
What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali will air on HBO in two parts May 14. Watch the trailer below.