Remember the role Malcom X played
Feb 11, 2010
In Canada and the United States, February is Black History Month. It
remembers the Civil Rights Movement that started 50 years ago in the
U.S by two charismatic black leaders: Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was considered a huge
victory for coloured people.
Sadly, both leaders were assassinated soon after, Malcolm X on Feb.
21, 1965, King on March 29, 1968. But their glorious achievements
live on and are still celebrated today.
Unfortunately, these days most people only celebrate Dr. King and his
role in the black liberation movement. In the past few days, I have
heard many people talk about King's character and charisma, but
little about Malcolm X.
Why is that?
Perhaps it is because many people perceive Malcolm X as a man of
violence who was not for peace and democratic practices. But the
truth is, if it was not for Malcolm X's violent movement in the
1960s, King's movement of solidarity would not have been successful.
In that era, the violence was a necessary response to a society in
which white supremacists purposely discriminated against black people
and remorselessly murdered them with no regard for justice.
The use of violence is not necessary in most places. But, in 1960s,
violence was necessary for the black rights movement.
Undoubtedly, Malcolm X's ultimate goal was to establish and maintain
peace in society, but in a society respectful to all.
In order to have this respectful peace, violence was necessary to
open the eyes of the ordinary white people who excluded people of
colour from their society.
Most whites were not associated with the Klu Klux Klan organization.
However, many did decide to be racist, influenced by the existing
propaganda that referred to blacks as drug lords, criminals and
Malcolm X simply proved that it was white society that had imposed
the many systematic restraints against the black community.
Violence was necessary to break those restraints, and snap the chain
of slavery and servitude of white supremacy.
Criticizing Malcolm X for his violence and forgetting him as a
passionate leader who sacrificed his life for justice and peace would
not be fair and would not do justice to the struggle of his time.
This Black History Month, let's remember and honour all martyrs of
the liberation movement.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
By Brandi Jackson
February 9, 2010
Since it is Black History Month, I thought it was appropriate to
review a book that inspired black culture and inspired many young
black men and women around the world.
The book is very inspirational, as it shows what it was like for a
black man to live in America and what it was like for a black Muslim
man to live in America. The book takes you through three phases of
his life. The book starts in Malcolm X's childhood, which is the
first phase in his life in which he experiences true racism within
his family. His father, Earl Little, was a member of the Universal
Negro Improvement Association and his mother, Louise Little, was an
educated woman from the island of Grenada. Malcolm was praised by his
father but disliked by his mother because he was the lightest-skinned
child in his family. He not only had to deal with the racism within
his family but he had to deal with the racism to his family.
The second phase of his life was when he became a young man and got
caught up in the "gangsta" scene, but he did learn a valuable lesson
in his life. He says, "In one sense, we were huddled in there, bonded
together in seeking security and warmth and comfort from each other,
and we didn't know it. All of us who might have probed space, or
cured cancer, or built industries were, instead, black victims of
the white man's American social system."
He learned that black people were the victims of white America's
social system which kept black people in the ghetto and in the
nightclubs seeking comfort from each other without them being even
conscious of it.
The last phase in his life is the one that we are most familiar with,
the Black Muslim leader. His famous quote
"They called me 'a teacher, a fomentor of violence.' I would say
point blank, 'That is a lie. I'm not for wanton violence, I'm for
justice. I feel that if white people were attacked by Negroes if
the forces of law prove unable, or inadequate, or reluctant to
protect those whites from those Negroes then those white people
should protect and defend themselves from those Negroes, using arms
if necessary. And I feel that when the law fails to protect Negroes
from whites' attack then those Negroes should use arms, if necessary,
to defend themselves.'…I am speaking against and my fight is against
white racists. I firmly believe that Negroes have the right to fight
against these racists, by any means that are necessary."
Many people associate Malcolm X with violence when he was as
peaceful as Martin Luther King Jr. He just stated that if the law
will not protect them against the violent actions of the white racist
against the black victims then blacks will have no choice but to
defend themselves by any means necessary. He changed our nation by
his words and he brought to light the Muslim religion.
"The Autobiography of Malcolm X" is a real eye-opener and has made a
big difference in my life. It is was inspired to write and want to
come to college even more than I did. So if you happen to see "The
Autobiography of Malcolm X" sitting on a shelf, pick it up. It may
just change your perspective on life.