Today we celebrated the birth of a leader, husband, father of six, a great speaker and human rights activist; Malcolm X who would have been 84 years old. Born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha Nebraska, this courageous Muslim minister was the voice of African American people that had been silenced deep beneath powerful waves in a sinister sea of “civil wrongs”. Although his father passed away when X was only 13 years old, he instilled invaluable lessons about black pride and independence on race matters which stemmed from the beliefs of Marcus Garvey into his son. Yet during his childhood, Malcolm dabbled in criminal activities such as gangs, gambling, running prostitutes and drug dealing which eventually led to an 8-10 year stint in prison stint followed by many ups and downs from adopting the beliefs of the Nation of Islam to the commitment of his mother to a state mental hospital. His first experience with turning adversity into strength was in 8th grade when he was one of the best students at his junior high school. After professing his aspirations to becoming a lawyer, a white teacher told him that was “no realistic goal for a nigger”. Now after the success of many blacks in law (which is increasing rapidly) including but not limited to Thurgood Marshall, Wade McCree, Johnny Cochran, Jock Smith and Willie Gary combined with the fact that the legacy of Malcolm X is sure to outlive the carving in her headstone, could you imagine how she’s rolling in her grave today?
On February 21, 1965 in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom, Malcolm X was speaking to a crowd of 400 when he was shot in the chest by one man with a sawed-off shotgun followed by two other men who shot him 16 more times. Malcolm X’s primary assassin was a Black Muslim named Talmadge Hayer aka Thomas Hagan who was paroled in 1985 but maintains his innocence. Over 1,000 people attended his funeral and he was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York where friends took the shovels away from the waiting gravediggers and completed the burial themselves. Contrary to much speculation preceding his death and multiple accusations fingering William Bradley, Louis Farrakhan, COINTELPRO, John Ali, the NYPD, etc., authorities never reopened their investigation of the murder. Malcolm X’s legacy has since proved to be an unshakable part of African American and World History cemented within the pages of books & textbooks and even many streets signs, historic monuments, dozens of schools, holidays and even children all named after him. So do your children a favor today and educate them about yet another great black man!
In closing, what impact or affect do you think Malcolm X would have had on our nation during the 45 years since his death had he not been assassinated? Also, do you believe Malcolm X would have voted for Barack Obama in the 2009 presidential election? Please… sound off!