Philadelphia Street Renamed In Honor Of Muhammad Ali
“He represented Philadelphia. He lived here," said one leader.
June 18, 2019 at 10:09 pm
Muhammad Ali is still being honored three years after his death.
The city of Philadelphia and the 400 Years Coalition joined forces to rename Philly’s 52nd Street after the late boxer, according to The Philadelphia Tribune.
An event to commemorate the occasion will occur on Saturday at Malcolm X Park, as part of the city’s Juneteenth festivities.
400 Years Coalition leader Faruq Abdul Ghaffar believes Ali was “more than a sports icon.”
“He was universal to the people. He was loved by everyone. He represented his people in a way that was a positive thing around the world,” Abdul Ghaffar said.
“He represented Philadelphia. He lived here. He was a part of the culture. He represented that well. He had the camp up at Deer Lake [Pennsylvania]. So he was in Philadelphia a number of times. He would come down and be on 52nd Street. He used to ride down and talk to the people.”
The last honor he received in Philadelphia was the Liberty Medal in 2012.
The street renaming comes a few weeks after his hometown rechristened its airport in his honor. The city of Louisville renamed its airport after the legendary figure on June 6, reports NPR. The name change happened during the city’s annual Ali Week, which honors the champ.
“My father would be the type where, if he was living, going in and out of that airport — this airport was named after me,” said his daughter Maryum. “That's something. That's something, man. This is big. This is beautiful — a Muslim, a Muslim. I could just hear him now.”
Louisville resident Kim Mohamed hopes the honor will make life easier for other Muslims.
“If a person travelling has it in their head that this airport is named Muhammad Ali, then it might ease their anxiety to think that they are headed to a friendly place,” she said.