Black Interests

Movie: One Night In Miami (Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Sam Cooke)

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On the night of Feb. 25, 1964, in Miami, Cassius Clay joins Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and Malcom X, and they discuss the responsibility of being successful black men during the civil rights movement.

On 25 February 1964, 22-year-old boxer Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) celebrated a win with three friends: Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), NFL legend Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and soul singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr). All four were at a crossroads, and the conversations they had would be transformative.

Regina King’s debut feature as a director. The movie is about what happens after the final bell, when Clay and three men who witnessed the fight gather for a low-key after-party that turns into an impromptu seminar on fame, political action and the obligations of Black celebrities in a time of crisis.

According to veteran movie critic Roger Ebert:

It’s rare to see a film about one Black legend relating to other Blacks, let alone four of them. While we’ll never know what really was said or done, “One Night In Miami” is a wonderfully rendered fiction, a what-if scenario that doesn’t sacrifice its honesty and complexity in favor of easier to digest scenarios. Some big issues are presented to the viewer and the characters, issues that haven’t gone away. Unfortunately, three of the four legends in this film have left us, making this an especially bittersweet fly-on-the-wall drama. You’ll laugh a lot, cry a little, and fondly think of it often.

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