21
Feb
15

The Evolving Legacy Of Malcolm X

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Krissah Thompson: 50 Years After His Death, Malcolm X’s Work Is Unfinished

After a life filled with transformation, Malcolm X found himself in February 1965 in the throes of yet another. He had been a fringe figure, known mostly to a small circle of black Muslims and big-city sophisticates, but now he was branching out — seeking allies at home and abroad to help him become a part of the Southern civil rights movement. He had plans to take the cause to the United Nations, charging the U.S. government with failure to protect its black citizens from racist white terrorism. 50 years after he was gunned down by an assassin in Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom, Malcolm X is getting another look. His issues — particularly those that occupied the last year of his life — and his tactics speak to the current conversation.

Police brutality? Malcolm would have been on point amid the protests in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island. “Whenever something happens, 20 police cars swarm on one neighborhood,” Malcolm told an interviewer during his crusade against anti-crime bills. “This force . . . creates a spirit of resentment in every Negro. They think they are living in a police state and they become hostile toward the policeman.” Voting rights? Once again in the spotlight, as activists challenge photo ID laws that they say hinder minority voters, and definitely a preoccupation for Malcolm. “When white people are evenly divided, and black people have a bloc of votes of their own, it is left up to them to determine who’s going to sit in the White House and who’s going to be in the doghouse,” he said in 1964.

More here

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Ebony: Malcolm Taught Me: Reflections on X

As people across the world commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, EBONY asked some of our favorite thought leaders to reflect on how “our Black shining prince” impacted their worldview, cultural identity and work: “He taught me what it meant to publicly be a work in progress, to publicly admit when you were wrong, all in a lifelong effort to be the best person he could be for his people, his family, and himself. I take him with me everywhere I go.“-Rembert Browne, writer. “I remember the first time I heard Brother Malcolm’s speech when he asked, “Who taught you to hate yourself?” I was 15. For me, there was a healing in his truth-telling. His words gave me permission to always call it as I see it. And without apology. “-Yaba Blay, scholar/author

“As a Black man, Malcolm X was one of my first glimpses into what it meant to be proud of your Blackness on your terms; as a storyteller, his book taught me the value in honesty and owning your truth, no matter how messy it might look in the rear view mirror.”-Michael Arceneaux, writer. “The more I learned the truth about Malcolm X, the more I began to love myself. His unwavering courage is how I attempt to show up in the world and in my work.” -Wade Davis, former NFL player/Executive Director, You Can Play Project. “Malcolm wasn’t perfect, but he strived to be, and do, better—to be his best possible self for his people. That is the true worth of a freedom fighter.” -Jason Parham, writer/editor. “Malcolm X’s life taught me that being angry about injustice is an opportunity to use my voice to speak out and use my gifts to spark change.”-Ebonie Johnson Cooper, philanthropist

More here

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“Malcolm died advocating for teenaged, single Black mothers. He died for not remaining silent about the abuse of Black girls.” -dream hampton, writer/activist/educator

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122 Responses to “The Evolving Legacy Of Malcolm X”


  1. 1 Nena20409
    February 21, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    By any Means Necessary.
    Feb 20th, 1965…..50 yrs ago…..
    A Light was dimmed forever.
    RIP
    Malcolm X
    Fantastic Respectful and Worthy Post.
    Thank you, NW.

  2. 8 Nena20409
    February 21, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Wow….1st time in this Evening and Leave A Message was the Greeting Message.
    I read all the Tweets before posting……..Just Brilliant, NW.
    What a wonderful Tribute.

  3. 13 Nena20409
    February 21, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I watched the Movie with D. Washington. Then I went and bought the book and Read it.
    RIP
    Mr. X.

  4. February 21, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Bibi’s losing it.

    • 15 Nena20409
      February 21, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      So long as the people in Israel keep electing him and tolerating his arse in their Government………No Justice and Definitely No Peace between The Palestinians and the Israelis.

  5. February 21, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Timely and powerful, thank you HUGELY Nerdy.

  6. February 21, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Malcolm was assassinated in my neighborhood, about a couple of blocks from the apartment where I lived until age 7. My brother pointed out the Audubon Ballroom to me when I was older.

  7. 19 jacquelineoboomer
    February 21, 2015 at 6:14 pm

  8. February 21, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Probably not true, but…

  9. 21 Dudette
    February 21, 2015 at 6:26 pm

  10. 23 vcprezofan2
    February 21, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Somewhat connected to this post, wouldn’t you say?

  11. 76 Dudette
    February 21, 2015 at 6:35 pm

  12. February 21, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    sighs

  13. 84 jacquelineoboomer
    February 21, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Still the best rendition I’ve heard, and it reminds all of us who lived through those days – and all the assassinations – how we felt, each in our own ways and hearts and situations. It’s not something you can describe, but you can still feel it 50 years later.

  14. 86 criquet
    February 21, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Bringing this over from the last thread.

    Hello all.

    Just wanted to say that it seems to be a big “coincidence ” (not really) that Republicans are either denying PBO’s love/loyalty to the US, don’t know if he is a Christian ( Gov Walker ), Jeb Bush’s don’t question PBO’s motives but his policies and all the other conservative blogs and trolls saying Giuliani was right. I think it has a lot to do with the upcoming Netanyahu speech to the US Congress. The GOP are trying to whip up the same old suspicion and opposition to soften the criticism and try to move more people to say what they did was OK.
    Then, after the speech will push more of their anti-Iran and try to push PBO and public opinion on Iran , Syria and war in general.
    I believe this is all part of a calculated strategy.

    Reply

    • 87 jacquelineoboomer
      February 21, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      And pretty much everybody you named will fail. And President Obama will prevail, and our country will continue to prosper, under his leadership. And …

      “There is an endless supply of paint.” — Marcus Davis

    • February 21, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      of course this is not a coincidence.

      it’s transparent as glass.

    • 90 arapaho415
      February 21, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      Absolutely fairy-tale gorgeous, dudette!!!
      http://www.photobotos.com/santas-village/

      Santa’s Village – Fiss, Austria – Michael Adamek Is this what Santa’s village looks like? If not, I am sure it looks something similar. Maybe with sleigh tracks in the snow and some reindeer pellets on the roof tops. And that moon peeking out from behind the clouds and rising over the mountain tops is just posing for the perfect shot. To see more of Micheal work please visit http://www.michaeladamek.de.

  15. February 21, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Sweet Jeebus, now Anne Applebaum of WaPo is saying that Angela Merkel is the leader of the free world. Jesus take the wheel.

  16. 93 CEB
    February 21, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    “White folks dun lost their minds.” and we smile and grow stronger because they change has come.

  17. February 21, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Powerful Tweets…..

    i had recordings of Malcolm X…the ballot or the bullet was poignant…

    a came over him after his pilgrimage to Mecca…i believe that if Malcolm X had lived he would have become closely aligned with Dr King

  18. February 21, 2015 at 7:19 pm

  19. February 21, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    • February 21, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      Is Erick Erickson a Christian? In any meaningful way. I think that is what he need to be worrying about. What is so wonderful about this is Jesus Christ will do the judging, not Erick Erickson or his right wing racists party.. So the way I look at it it doesn’t matter one bit what Erickson think or says, he isn’t Jesus Christ.

  20. February 21, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Ahem.

    • 102 arapaho415
      February 21, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Better today than tomorrow for #BurgersOnTheBarbie.

      70% chance of rain tomorrow in my neck of the woods, starting at 10pm.

      Am moving all my patio plants from the covered portion to the great outdoors now.

      Actually, the weather forecast is very similar to Juneau in July (when I was there in 1999):

      Low tonight: 51F, showers
      Sunday: 55F, light rain

      I clearly remember the 5-day forecast in Juneau:

      Low: 51F
      High: 52F
      5 different ways to say “precipitation”

  21. February 21, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    We’re doomed.

  22. 105 mtmarilyn
    February 21, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Oh Nerdy, what a wonderful tribute!!!! I who loves history and thought I knew much always learn more from your posts. Thank you so much.

  23. 107 sherijr
    February 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    I was 18 and in the army when I read Malcolm X’s biography.. and I learned that people change, that they evolve given the desire to do so.. and that he had a lot to teach anyone who took the time to pay attention and open their minds. His journey was amazing and I’m sorry the world lost him so young.

  24. 108 criquet
    February 21, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    This is not a unique point of view.

    https://twitter.com/MichaelHargrov1/status/569296079222677504?lang=en

  25. February 21, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you for remembering Malcolm X.

  26. 111 taiping1
    February 21, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Wonderful post. The fight goes on and on and on.

  27. 113 carolyn
    February 21, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    The first essay I assign to my freshmen every semester is a segment of Malcolm X’s autobiography called “Prison Studies.” It is his story of educating himself in prison. He started by copying the dictionary, word by word onto a tablet. After he finished a page, he read it out loud to himself to ingrain it in his brain. He copied the ENTIRE dictionary this way, day after day, night after night. After he accomplished this, he knew how to read, he knew how to write, he had increased his vocabulary at least a thousand fold, and went on to read about 20 out of every 24 hour day the remaining time in prison. This essay starts our section on how we all learned to read, and they write what I call their Literacy autobiography.

    They cannot imagine writing the entire dictionary, and neither can I, but he did it, and educated himself mightily.

  28. February 21, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Media Alert:

    Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards

    Tonight..on OWN, 10 pm EST

  29. February 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Only4RM @Only4RM
    Don’t get it twisted people. Disgusting Giuliani’s racist dog-whistle attacks on POTUS are part of the GOP’s #NetanYAHOO advance work.

  30. February 21, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Nerdy, thank you very much. What a wonderful tribute to Malcolm.

    Malcolm X loved black people and hated white racism. Today, as dead black bodies continue to fall in U.S. streets from Ohio to New York, a booming prison-industrial complex continues to scour street corners for prey and a corrupt political system continues to placate black citizens with a blurry carbon copy of equality, his words in a 1964 letter to the Egyptian Gazette still ring true:

    “We can never get civil rights in America until our human rights are first restored. We will never be recognized as citizens there until we are first recognized as humans. … The American “system” (political, economic and social) was produced from the enslavement of the black man, and this present “system” is capable only of perpetuating that enslavement.”

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2015/02/malcolm_x_matters_icon_s_words_still_ring_true_video.html

  31. February 21, 2015 at 8:54 pm

  32. February 22, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Nerdy, I know its late but I want to thank you for this beautiful memorial post for Malcolm X. He was truly one of my heroes. Even after 50 years I still cry when I remember him.


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