Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Malcolm X

Malcolm X was born as Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925. Today would have been his 87th birthday.

I believe that Malcolm X was a great American, and one of the tragic figures of the Sixties. We will never know what he could have done for us if he had been allowed to live. I know that he sometimes espoused hateful words, but I don't believe that he ever spoke genuine hatred towards anyone. Faced with millions of hate-filled white Americans, was the answer always going to be "turn the other cheek"? I respect Rev Martin Luther King for saying "yes," but I also respect Malcolm X for saying, "Hell no."

Malcolm X gained fame through his allegiance with The Nation of  Islam led by Elijah Mohammed (sp). However, after he personally went on a visit to Mecca, the Holy City of Islam, in 1964 he became less confrontational and began to lean towards negotiation to help African-Americans.

It has been a few years since I have read The Autobiography of Malcolm X or seen the Spike Lee directed film MALCOLM X. I think I should make time to do both of those things. If we do not actively remember, we are doomed to forget.

Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965. He was 39 years old.


  1. Russell, Who killed Malcolm X?

    r duncan

  2. He was killed by members of The Nation of Islam, the group he had recently left. He had been a spokesman for the teachings of Elijah Mohammed, the group leader, but then turned against him and them when he found out that he (Elijah) had fathered children with several secretaries of the organization, among other things. This is the group that Louis Farakkhan (sp?) eventually led. :-(