Happy Malcolm X Day!!!

To those of my generation, who weren’t alive during the time of El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, he stands as undeniably one of the greatest, strongest, and most exemplary representations of Black manhood that we have ever heard or read about.  I think of Brother Malcolm when I look at some of our boys: pants hanging down, one foot in the streets, chests full of courage and conviction, navigating through communities and households short on guidance and right examples, being defiant toward entire social structures that capitalize off their brilliance but despise them for it, etc.  He stood where they stand today, and look at how magnificent he became!  I hope our boys grow into the man Malcolm became.

He was the first person I thought of when Barack Obama was elected president.  I desperately wanted him to be here to see what his timeless, prophetic admonitions to an entire planet made possible.  Regardless of who you are, talk to the young ones in your charge or in your vicinity about the contributions of Malcolm X, and his exalted position in the dichotomy of great Black leaders.  Strike down as artificial any suggested divisions between he and Dr. King, for they were both necessary, and both played a critical role in reshaping the consciousness of a nation.  It was their combined efforts–not to mention those of countless others–that led to the passage of legislation and perhaps a more concerted effort to allow African Americans to participate more in the American experiment.

Celebrate the life and legacy of Malcolm X today!

3 thoughts on “Happy Malcolm X Day!!!

  1. …very well said.

    He doesn’t receive his just due. Malcolm was going to bring the U.S. on charges of crimes against humanity! He struggled for “human rights,” which includes you too.

    It always saddens when I am characterized as the new Malcolm in a negative context as if this is something to be ashamed of. Although I am wholly undeserving, I am proud to have received such a compliment. But the fact that Malcolm is cast in a negative cloud says so much about U.S. culture in general, and Black culture specifically.

    Hetepu…

    • “He doesn’t receive his just due… But the fact that Malcolm is cast in a negative cloud says so much about U.S. culture in general, and Black culture specifically.”

      I agree. A couple decades of revisionist history and careful quotation paraphrasing has really elevated the position of Dr. King in the minds of many Americans. This is interesting because you’d be hard-pressed to find 3 Americans of any race, gender, or class who could recite more than 3 lines of the I.H.A.D. speech (or any speech for that matter), and it would be equally difficult to find 1,000 or more whose position on Dr. King today is exactly as it was 40 years ago. Let’s not forget that white and black people typically crossed the street when King was walking down it.

      Somewhere around the 1980s, and again in the late 1990s, the consensus seemed to be that King was safer and somehow a better American (and I am certainly not arguing that he wasn’t one of the greatest Americans of all time), and because of this, the LEAST offensive, poignant, and critical words he had to offer get plastered all over our televisions and radios every January and February.

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