Saturday, May 19, 2012

Remembering Malcolm X on his 87th Birthday

Malcolm X (he became El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz in 1964) was a major theoretician and advocate for Black pride and liberation. One of most influential and important people of the 20th century. “He spoke more truth, with less pretense, than any other Black Leader…”
Bill Russell.

Malcolm X born Malcolm Little; May 19 1925, was an African American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, his childhood included his father's lessons concerning black pride and self-reliance and his own life experiences concerning race, which played a significant role in Malcolm X's adult life.

As an adult Malcolm X became a member of the Nation of Islam. On January 14, 1958, Malcolm X married Betty X (Sanders) in Lansing, Michigan. The couple had six daughters. Attallah (1958), Qubilah, (1960), Ilyasah, (1962) Gamilah, (1964), and twins, Malaak and Malikah, born in 1965 after their father's assassination and named for him.

On March 8, 1964, Malcolm X publicly announced his break from the Nation of Islam. He also expressed his desire to work with other civil rights leaders . On March 26, 1964, he met Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington, D.C., after a press conference which followed both men attending the Senate to hear the debate on the Civil Rights bill. This was the only time the two men ever met; their meeting lasted only one minute, just long enough for photographers to take a picture.

Malcolm X became a Sunni Muslim and made a pilgrimage to Mecca. He traveled extensively throughout Africa and the Middle East. On April 19, 1964, he completed the Hajj. He later said the trip allowed him to see Muslims of different races interacting as equals. He came to believe that Islam could be the means by which racial problems could be overcome.

Less than a year after he left the Nation of Islam, on February 21, 1965, in Manhattan, New York, at the Audubon Ballroom, Malcolm X was assassinated while giving a speech. He was 39 years old.

Many schools have been named after him and several cities have renamed streets in his honor. In New York City, Lenox Avenue was renamed Malcolm X Boulevard in the late 1980s.
In 2005, Columbia University announced the opening of the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. The memorial is located in the Audubon Ballroom, where Malcolm X was assassinated.


In early 1963, Malcolm X started collaborating with Alex Haley on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The book was not finished when he was assassinated in 1965. Haley completed it and published it later that year.

Though often controversial in his lifetime he was admired by many and has left an important legacy. I would encourage you to read this book to gain further knowledge on the life of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz .

Some of his Quotes :

"Truth is on the side of the oppressed."

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."

"You don't have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being."

"We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for integration, nor are we fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition...for the right to live as free humans in this society."

"For the freedom of my 22 million black brothers and sisters here in America, I do believe that I have fought the best that I know how, and the best that I could, with the shortcomings that I have had...I know that societies often have killed people who have helped to change those societies. And if I can die having brought any light, having exposed any meaningful truth that will help destroy the racist cancer that is malignant in the body of America then, all of the credit is due to Allah. Only the mistakes have been mine."

"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today"


No comments: