Monday, February 21, 2022, will be the 57th anniversary of the assassination of our shining prince, Malcolm X. Gunned down by Black men in 1965 in the presence of his family and children, Malcolm changed the narrative and bent history towards justice and freedom.
Much of the present-day militancy of younger generations can be traced directly to Malcolm X and his speeches. We have been flooded with his phrase “by any means necessary,” but most don’t recall that he also said, “as long as it is intelligently designed.”
We know the story of Moses, raised among the Egyptians but he never became an Egyptian. Moses was like Malcolm, a deliverer for the Hebrew Jews.” Joseph was sold into slavery into Egypt and became almost powerful as Pharaoh, but he never forgot that he was a Hebrew and not an Egyptian. Joseph and Moses were dedicated to Hebrew futures and well-being.
Bob Moses, SNCC Chair, and the Black Panther Party, Big Jim Forman, Sammy Young Jr. (first college student killed during Civil Rights movement) were heirs of the gigantic contributions of the forerunners. These gifted and talented icons never forgot that they were Black, and their assignment was to create and build Black futures.
Ernest McMillan, SNCC veteran and founder of the Houston based Fifth Ward Enrichment Program-currently Urban Enrichment Program were all spiritual descendants of Malcolm. The Freedom Tour that is conducted by Deloyd Parker and SHAPE Community Center can count dozens of inner-city youths that have found their calling as community builders for Black futures. SNCC carried the fight into the face of terror in the Deep South by founding Freedom Schools during Freedom Summer 64. Chairman Bob Moses and the SNCC freedom fighters had to go into Lowndes County and set captives free through Freedom Summer 64.
Malcolm’s family was injured and suffered massive trauma at his death but so did the entire community. One of Malcolm’s daughters said that one of the lessons that we should learn from Malcolm’s life is that he did not wear his religion on his pockets, and neither should we. We don’t catch hell based on religion, but we do catch hell based on race.
If we could work like Bob Moses and Ernest McMillan, If we could dedicate our lives to live for meaningful Black futures like Malcolm and Betty, a brighter sun would awaken us to a brighter future and promising tomorrow. This can happen if we don’t awfulize and procrastinate. History has seized us now we must seize history in the spirit of Malcolm and Betty.
Malcolm was never nominated or received a Nobel or a Spingarn Medal. If Spingarn awardee Maya Angelou is correct about courage being the indispensable virtue that opens the way to practice the other virtues, his award must be posthumous. Why not a posthumous award for Betty and the other fearless trailblazers. – AANI