Thursday, May 19, 2005

Brother Malcolm

"Look at yourselves. Some of you teenagers, students. How do you think I feel and I belong to a generation ahead of you - how do you think I feel to have to tell you, 'We, my generation, sat around like a knot on a wall while the whole world was fighting for its human rights - and you've got to be born into a society where you still have that same fight.' What did we do, who preceded you ? I'll tell you what we did. Nothing. And don't you make the same mistake we made...." (Malcolm X 1925-1965)

I wanted to dedicate my blog today to one of the greatest figures in American history. I was not always an admirer of Malcolm. I was in elementary school when I first learned of him and the Nation Of Islam. I didn't like them; they seemed to be filled with hate and my young mind could not understand why? I had not yet learned or experienced the cruelty of racism my ancestors knew so well. "Why did he hate so much," I would ask myself? Unfortunately, I don't remember any teachers who were willing or knew how to clarify his position in simple terms.

My education about Malcolm X came after I left the Navy in 1988. I passed by my hometown of Washington, DC headed up to New Haven, Conecticut. I didn't realize at the time that there was a new awakening concerning the legacy of Malcolm X and the smoke screen that the media had created was beginning to disappear. I first learned of my black heritage through a store clerk at a shop called The Third World in New Haven. He sold literature, buttons, incense and everthing under the Black Sun related to the African diaspora. He told me things about Black history and Black people that would change my life forever. I purchased some things and left that shop a newborn. The music changed too. The youth were now chanting "Fight The Power" to the beat of Public Enemy while I prouldly wore my new Black Medallion that I picked up from the shop in New Haven. This new serge of Black pride was, of course, offset by the rise of Crack cocaine. Crack would eventually win the battle. Drug dealers became rich during those years (1989-present). This was especially true in the early 90's. The times were bitter sweet for me.

I became a freshman in 1989 at an HBCU (Savannah State College), and the knowledge of my history began to soar! This instilled in me a great pride and I really felt on top of the world with this "new" found information. I also read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. It was then that I found out the truth about who Malcolm was; It inspired me. I was even more thrilled when Denzel Washington brought Malcolm to life on the big screen. Malcolm X was released in 1992 by Spike Lee. It prompted an entire generation (appropriately called the "X Generation") to learn more about the man we called Malcolm X. So, on his 80th birthday I would like to give honor to one of the human races most valiant soldiers. In the words of Ossie Davis let us remember him for what he is, ".......a prince—our own black shining prince!—who didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so. " Peace~

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