Malcolm X  (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965).

Say his name, and people conjure up various images.

The smiling Malcom.

The angry, militant finger-in-the-air Malcom.

The black nationalist Malcolm.

The pensive, introspective Malcom.

The misogynist Malcolm.

The defiant Malcolm.

The revolutionary Malcolm.

As historian Robin D.G. Kelley wrote, Malcom X was many things to many people:

“Malcolm X has been called many things: Pan-Africanist, father of Black Power, religious fanatic, closet conservative, incipient socialist, and a menace to society. The meaning of his public life — his politics and ideology — is contested in part because his entire body of work consists of a few dozen speeches and a collaborative autobiography whose veracity is challenged…. Malcolm has become a sort of tabula rasa, or blank slate, on which people of different positions can write their own interpretations of his politics and legacy. Chuck D of the rap group Public Enemy and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas can both declare Malcolm X their hero.”

Malcom was, and still is, everyone’s idea of what they know of him, and what they take away in their understanding of him.

Malcolm X NYWTS 2.jpg

Malcolm loved black people and put his life on the line for them. He stood toe-to-toe against any and all enemies of black people, whether those enemies were white, or black.

The young Malcolm X.

Malcolm evolved over time from being a gangster, womanizer, black separatist, to becoming in the end a Muslim (not sure whether Malcolm was a Sunni or Shiite Muslim.)

Malcolm X with Elijah Muhammad at Savior’s Day.

Malcolm Little.

Detriot Red.

Malcolm X.

El-Hajj Malik El Shabazz.

 Malcolm X holding an M1 Carbine and pulling back the curtains to peer out of a window. The photo illustrated his intention to defend himself against the frequent death threats he was receiving.

Malcolm X - death.jpg
After the assassination: Malcolm X on a stretcher, en route from the Audubon Ballroom to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

When Malcolm was assassinated in the Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965, we lost a giant in the world of Civil Rights. The late Ossie Davis gave a beautiful eulogy at Malcolm’s funeral, a tribute for our shining black prince:

There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain — and we will smile. Many will say turn away — away from this man, for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the black man — and we will smile. They will say that he is of hate — a fanatic, a racist — who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! And we will answer and say to them: Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did you would know him. And if you knew him you would know why we must honor him.

Malcolm X was buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. At the gravesite after the ceremony, friends took the shovels away from the waiting gravediggers and buried Malcolm themselves. Later that month, actors Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier became co-chairs of the New York affiliate of the Educational Fund for the Children of Malcolm X Shabazz.

Malcolm, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was our champion, our defender, our voice against oppression, our Maginot Line against white supremacy.

A Religious Life of Malcolm X
On the Side of My People: A Religious Life of Malcolm X by Louis A. Decaro Jr. (Paperback – Aug 1, 1997)
4.0 out of 5 stars (3)




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3 responses to “MALCOLM X

  1. great post chk out this black history month when u can and let me know what u think The father of Jim Crow

  2. Thanks for the link. Malcolm was a Sunni.

  3. Cool, that swedish edition was exactly the one I read the other year. Whatever one have to say about Malcolm X, one can not deny that it truly is a great book.

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