DNA evidence links Muhammad Ali to heroic slave, family says

When Cassius Clay joined the Nation of Islam in 1964 and changed his name to Muhammad Ali he had a straightforward explanation. “Why should I keep my white slavemaster’s name visible and my black ancestors invisible, unknown, unhonored?” Ali asked.
Then, it was more of an abstract concept, a statement against white oppression; Ali did not know much, if anything, about his ancestors or his own family tree. Decades later, though, Ali’s family has made a discovery that appears to shed new light on the boxer’s lineage — where he came from, and also his place American history. Ali, according to his family’s research, is the great-great-great grandson of Archer Alexander, a slave who heroically fought both for his own freedom and against slavery.