Muhammad Ali is remembered as a great athlete and humanitarian — and also as an incisive, defiant black leader. He died Friday at age 74. Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images hide caption

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Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images

A Defiant Muhammad Ali Was Cherished By Black Men

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Fans and family are mourning boxer Muhammad Ali, who died at age 74. He's seen here in 1978 with his daughters Laila (9 months) and Hanna (2 years). Frank Tewkesbury/Getty Images hide caption

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With a quick jab and even quicker gab, Muhammad Ali was a force to reckon with in the ring. Some of America's best sports writing has been devoted to the boxer, who's seen here in 1963. Kent Gavin/Getty Images hide caption

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Boxer Muhammad Ali weighs in before his heavyweight bout with Jerry Quarry on Oct. 20, 1970, in Atlanta. AP hide caption

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Boxer Muhammad Ali, 'The Greatest Of All Time,' Dies At 74

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Muhammad Ali, world heavyweight boxing champion, stands with Malcolm X (left) outside the Trans-Lux Newsreel Theater in New York in 1964. AP hide caption

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Muhammad Ali And Malcolm X: A Broken Friendship, An Enduring Legacy

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Serena Williams en route to winning the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Sunday. Tannen Maury/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Tannen Maury/EPA/Landov

What If Serena Williams Had Faced Tougher Rivals?

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Angelo Dundee and boxer Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali), during a training session in 1966. George Freston/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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George Freston/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

NPR's Tom Goldman

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Joe Frazier (left) hits Muhammad Ali during the 15th round of their heavyweight title bout — the "Fight of the Century" — at New York's Madison Square Garden in March 1971. AP hide caption

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NPR's Tom Goldman reporting for 'Morning Edition'

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