HSOC Faculty in the News: Johnny Smith Featured in the AJC

Mural of Muhammad Ali, a key figure in Smith's book turned Netflix documentary.

Posted September 3, 2021

Associate Professor Johnny Smith was featured in the article "Georgia Tech Prof’s Book Basis of Netflix’s ‘Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali’ out Sept. 9" published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday, Sept. 3.

The article, written by Rodney Ho, explores Smith's journey from writing his book in 2016 to watching it debut as a Netflix documentary next week.

An excerpt:

Smith said the best interview he got for his book was “Captain” Sam Saxon, who ran a mosque in Miami in the early 1960s while Clay was training there for a boxing match and introduced Clay to Malcolm X. While doing research for the book seven years ago, Smith knew Saxon was still alive but was having trouble tracking him down.

By pure coincidence, Smith was flying to a friend’s wedding in Detroit and was sitting at a gate at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when he saw a man in a wheelchair wearing a glistening ring with “ALI” embossed on it. Smith quickly figured out it was Saxon.

Smith introduced himself and said, “I’ve been looking all over for you.”

Saxon replied: “That’s what they call divine intervention, my brother.”

Read the full article here: "Georgia Tech Prof’s Book Basis of Netflix’s ‘Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali’ out Sept. 9" and don't miss the film on Netflix Sept. 9!