Malcolm X

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“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

During February, Black History Month, we honor the history and outstanding individuals of African-Americans. Public events, TV specials, school programs with reading lists, specific assignments, and films are featured.

Seldom if ever is one significant person mentioned ~ Malcolm X.  Why?  I believe a major reason for this oversight is the mythology perpetuated within many white communities surrounding this man. He is viewed as violent, anti white, subversive and the list goes on . . . All of this IS true for much of his life. What is not known and, therefore, not highlighted is his conversion when he went to Mecca as a convert to the nation of Islam.  While there he visibly experienced a community of faith of persons from throughout the world.  White, yellow, red, black, brown, – all praying together in peace. He was changed forever.  Recognizing this truth empowered him to return home to the United States to preach a different message – the oneness of all peoples and a prayer for all humankind as he now recognized that humanity was one and accepting one another was the path to peace. In his own words:

In the past, yes, I have made sweeping indictments

of all white people. I will never be guilty of that again —

as I know now that some white people are truly sincere,

that some truly are capable of being brotherly toward a

black man. The true Islam has shown me that a blanket

indictment of all white people is as wrong as when whites

make blanket indictments against blacks.

Sadly there was not time for him to spread his message for he was shot and killed on February 21, 1965 by a person of the Brotherhood of Islam who did not accept the ‘new Malcolm’.

If you wish to gain a better understanding of Malcolm X a couple of approaches would be to read Alex Haley’s book, Autobiography of Malcolm X (co authored by Malcolm) or view Spike Lee’s film MALCOLM X.