1964 Cassius Clay & Stepin Fetchit Unlikely Friendship Original TYPE III Photo

Below are excerpts from an interview given by playwright, Will Power about the show, called “Fetch Clay, Make Man.”

Stepin Fetchit was a character created by an actor by the name of Lincoln Perry in the 1920’s. And he was a phenomenal actor and his idea was to create this kind of bumbling buffoon in Hollywood, because that was really what was open and available to African American actors at that time.

And his idea was he was going to create this character to break into Hollywood. But of course, given the times and situation and how popular he was for mainstream white America, he was never able to evolve out of that role.

And so by the time he comes around in the 1960’s, his public persona was almost the opposite of Ali’s at that time. He was looked at as someone you don’t want to touch, as an embarrassment. And Ali was looked at, at least by young people, as the proud black man, the person who is very vocal, expressive. Never backs down, very courageous.

And so that’s what made their friendship so unique. Because their public personas seemed to be in almost violent contrast to each other.

The legend goes that Stepin Fetchit was the only person left alive who knew the great boxer Jack Johnson, who was like, one of the first African American heavyweights, and someone who was really strong in his persona and really controversial.

And so Muhammad Ali called him into his camp and wanted to know the  secrets. And so that’s what was said. And then, when Muhammad Ali, of course, knocked out Sonny Liston the second time, and really solidified his championship, he said he got the knock out punch from Stepin Fetchit, who learned it from Jack Johnson.

Offered is an original TYPE III photo that measures 7” x 9” in size with the Plain Dealer (newspaper) stamp on the back dated November 1, 1964 and again November 2, 1964. This Associated Press photograph is dated October 28, 1964 from Boston showing Clay with Fetchit looking at a cake depicting his upcoming fight with Sonny Liston.

Unique to say the least of Muhammad Ali in his prime, when he was still known as Cassius Clay.

PSA defines a TYPE III photo as –

Type III – A 2nd generation photograph, developed from a duplicate negative or wire transmission, during the period (within approximately two years of when the picture was taken).

Item: 13451

Price: $149.00
1964 Cassius Clay & Stepin Fetchit Unlikely Friendship Original TYPE III Photo