On April 7, 1971, just one month after his win over Ali, Frazier became the first African American man to speak before the state legislature in Columbia, South Carolina.
“It was an extraordinary event,” Kram Jr. says. “He reached out and tried to implore the members of that assembly to be open to bringing the races together. And, indeed, he wanted to.”
Frazier told the legislature that not much had changed since he left Beaufort, about 140 miles south of the state capital.
“We must save our people, and when I say our people, I mean white and black,” Frazier said in his address. “We need to quit thinking who’s living next door, who’s driving a big car, who’s my little daughter going to play with, who is she going to sit next to in school.”
Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier often pulled over on the road to fix flat tires for stranded motorists.
“He did this not just once, but again and again. It was almost as if he was his own AAA.”https://t.co/zv35xIBRMG
— NPR’s Only A Game (@OnlyAGameNPR) October 12, 2019