Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little; after returning from Hajj he took the name el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. Malcolm was most known for his powerful presence and his oratory skills. He inspired revolutionary groups such as the Black Panther Party For Self Defense, and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. In 1965, Malcolm X was murdered by Thomas Hagan, a member of the Nation of Islam. Today he would have been 91. Although his birthday is not a nationally recognized holiday, that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating him or revisiting his legacy.
Malcolm X was unapologetically Black, and he had the best intentions for the Black community. Like any big brother, Malcolm X gave it to us raw and uncut, but from a place of love.
Here are 5 things Brother Malcolm wanted us to remember:
Malcolm X warned us about the treacherous ways of the media. We saw this first hand during Ferguson, and we continue to see it daily in our individual neighborhoods. Mainstream journalists whitewash narratives and villianize our youth. We have to be careful not to put too much stock in the media.
All too often we do not want to be criticized or critiqued, but Malcolm wanted us to know that was a part of success. If people aren’t looking and analyzing what you are doing, then you can be sure they aren’t taking you too seriously. In other words, congratulations, people are judging you.
Malcolm X warned us that there were two ways to freedom, and that was the ballot or the bullet. It is a disgrace that so many people refuse to vote. We actually have the power to elect our sheriffs, judges and district attorneys, yet we rarely participate in the process. Our failure to get involved has caused racist white supremacists to dominate these positions. Therefore, we are unequally policed and imprisoned. Despite what many hottepers think, voting is an important part of the revolutionary process.
According to US News, “The achievement gap between white students and black students has barely narrowed over the last 50 years, despite nearly a half century of supposed progress in race relations and an increased emphasis on closing academic discrepancies between students.” This new analysis published in Jan 2016 calls the progress made a “national embarrassment.” While one or two children tend to do well in public, private, and charter systems, the masses are not doing so well. It is critical that we take responsibility for our children.
Malcolm X wanted us to understand defeat as a pathway to excellence. Perseverance is the key to success. So many people fail at something once and give up, and that just isn’t how life works. You have to try again.
I’ll be sharing more advice from Malcolm X on my Facebook page today. Come on over and join the party!