Above are the images of one Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali who similarly where both black activists during a time when black people struggled in America to have civil rights. These two became American icons for similar reasons as they both stood up for what they believed was right and both had to live with the consequences which they faced as a result of their actions. Rosa parks after refusing to allow a white man to sit down on a bus was arrested, jailed and fined causing a bus boycott by the NAACP which she was a member of at the time. Similarly Muhammad Ali refused to be conscripted to the American Army for the Vietnam war on the grounds that he didn’t wish to fight to ensure white supremacy over blacks. Ali faced possible jail and was stripped of all his boxing titles which he had worked so hard to win.
This image of Rosa Parks is one which will have gained her support and sympathy as she looks like a vulnerable woman who is frightened of going to jail. People across America would have heard her story along with this image and felt sorry for her knowing that she was a pregnant woman who was going to jail for simply refusing to give her seat to a man on the bus. In contrast I have chosen an image of Muhammad Ali which would not have gained him supporters as it shows his strength and athleticism causing people to question why he is not going to war. Americans would have believed his attributes useful to the American cause in Vietnam and found it hard to understand why he was refusing to join the war aid.
Today these two people are seen as icons in the modern American society, Muhammad Ali is now seen to be a dedicated and brave man who stood up for his beliefs which Americans today see as an admirable characteristic. Rosa Parks as a female has added icon status as women in todays society can take inspiration from her bravery in standing up for her civil rights. These icons are similar in the fact that they have transformed from being national enemies to being national icons in the space of their lifetime.