Sources: JSC & Final Call
It was 42 years ago in December 1974, that Muhammad Ali, the heavyweight boxing champion and student of the Honourable Elijah Muhammad, was invited to Jamaica by then Prime Minister Michael Manley.
According to some reports, Michael Manley told Ali that “your fist might have put you in everybody’s favour…but it is your conscience that has written you into immortality in the history of human affairs.”
Muhammad was presented with the key to Kingston in front of thousands of Jamaicans at the National Stadium .
Also travelling with Muhammad were members of the Nation of Islam, including a young Minister Louis Farrakhan who exposed the large gathering to the teachings of Elijah Mohammed for the first time.
Manley’s invitation to Muhammad and the Nation of Islam marked a change in official government policy as years earlier the patriarch of the Nation of Islam had been denied entry into the country under Prime Minister Hugh Shearer.
Below is the cover of the January 17, 1975 Muhammad Speaks Vol. 14 No. 19 edition that covered the 1974 Nation of Islam visit to Kingston, Jamaica.
Muhammad Ali also met with Bunny Grant, prolific Jamaican boxer of the 50s, 60s and 70s and winner of the Jamaican lightweight title, the Jamaican welterweight title, the Central American light welterweight title, the Latin American junior welterweight title, and the British Commonwealth lightweight title.