SugaBear’s Community Corner | Maryum Ali Interview

Written by on January 10, 2024

This week on SugaBear‘s Community Corner, we had special guest Maryum Ali with us in the studio! We could listen to her talk for hours, she told so many incredible stories.

She discussed yhe 20th anniversary of her children’s book about her father Muhammad Ali’s life, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and more!

Watch the interview below:

Muhammad Ali vs Lyle Alzado | Mile High Stadium in 1979
Credit: Denver Post library archive

Arie Parks Taylor (left), an unidentified woman, Muhammed Ali, and Vineta Vincent (right) pose for a group photograph in the Denver Capitol building. Credit: Denver Public Library Archives


Maryum is the eldest of Muhammad Ali’s nine children. When she was a child, her father would often ask her, “What is your purpose?” and she gave him the same response, “I want to help people.” Maryum’s efforts to fulfil her purpose has manifested in a myriad of ways throughout her life.

As a creative spirit, she performed as a stand-up comedian for over ten years. She also released a rap album in 1992 titled, The Introduction on Scottie Bros. Records. Most of her entertainment content included insightful observations, addressed social issues and promoted ethical values. When the rap music industry began focusing on violence and female exploitation, Maryum left the music business to embark upon a more direct way of impacting young people.

So back to school she went and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. Degree in Social Work. Maryum has fifteen years of experience in the area of juvenile delinquency prevention and youth development and has worked as a Case Manager, Program Director and Regional Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development in the City of Los Angeles. The A&E Network heard about her work in high crime communities and invited her to participate in their ground-breaking docuseries, “60 Days In,” that is currently streaming. On the show, she spent time in a real jail as an undercover inmate in order to make recommendations for reforming an Indiana jail.

Maryum is currently a Keynote Speaker, giving presentations across the country for social and human service organizations. She also gives presentations about her father and his journey with Parkinson disease.

Maryum is happy to announce that the children’s book she wrote two decades ago titled, I Shook Up the World: The Incredible Life of Muhammad Ali, is available again as a 20th Anniversary Edition in paperback. The amazing life story about Ali is beautifully illustrated by the illuminating artwork of Patrick Henry Johnson.

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