Monday, May 19, 2008

Honoring Malcolm X on His Birthday

Malcolm X

(born Malcolm Little; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965),
also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz,[ was an American Black Muslim minister and a spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

After leaving the Nation of Islam in 1964, he made the pilgrimage, the Hajj, to Mecca and became a Sunni Muslim. He also founded the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Less than a year later, he was assassinated in Washington Heights on the first day of National Brotherhood Week.

Historian Robin D.G. Kelley wrote, "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.

Make it Plain -an essential documentary(Part 1)
[parts 1-14 can readily be watched ion YouTube-Gatsby]

Malcolm X returning from Mecca, Saudi Arabia on 21 May 1964, after having performed Hajj.

Oxford University Debate:

"I read once, passingly, about a man named Shakespeare. I only read about him passingly, but I remember one thing he wrote that kind of moved me. He put it in the mouth of Hamlet, I think, it was, who said, "To be or not to be." He was in doubt about something. Whether it was nobler in the mind of man to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, moderation, or to take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. And I go for that. If you take up arms, you'll end it, but if you sit around and wait for the one who's in power to make up his mind that he should end it, you'll be waiting a long time. And in my opinion, the young generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you're living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there's got to be a change. People in power have misused it and now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built and the only way it's going to be built is with extreme methods. And I, for one, will join in with anyone, I don't care what color you are, as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.” –MX

From his very last speech:

"Recently when I was blessed to make a religious pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca where I met many people from all over the world, plus spent many weeks in Africa trying to broaden my own scope and get more of an open mind to look at the problem as it actually is, one of the things that I realized, and I realized this even before going over there, was that our African brothers have gained their independence faster than you and I here in America have. They've also gained recognition and respect as human beings much faster than you and I. Just ten years ago on the African continent, our people were colonized. They were suffering all forms of colonization, oppression, exploitation, degradation, humiliation, discrimination, and every other kind of -ation. And in a short time, they have gained more independence, more recognition, more respect as human beings than you and I have. And you and I live in a country which is supposed to be the citadel of education, freedom, justice, democracy, and all of those other pretty-sounding words. So it was our intention to try and find out what it was our African brothers were doing to get results, so that you and I could study what they had done and perhaps gain from that study or benefit from their experiences." Malcolm X makes it plain that he is opposed to the philosophy of Martin Luther King.” –MX

Eulogy by Ossie Davis:

No comments: