I have always know about Malcolm X since I was a child, but didn’t really know much beyond him being a strong Black leader, in the same era of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As I have gotten older, more specifically, the last 5 years, I have grown to LOVE everything about Malcolm X. From his struggle in his adolescent years, to the wise beyond his years man we all knew. It’s hard not to feel in your soul, the entire story behind who Malcolm X is, and how he became Malcolm X in the first place.
Today marks exactly 52 years since Malcolm was murdered. Murdered for demanding freedom for all. Murdered for not being scared of any man in the flesh while on his quest of justice for all. Murdered for being a Muslim. Murdered for believing in the right to bare arms to protect his family and his people. Murdered for being BLACK and PROUD.
I am realizing more and more how much I would’ve been considered more of a radical during the Civil Rights Movement. In some ways I have grown and transitioned myself from identifying with Dr. King to identifying with Malcolm. Almost in the way Dr. King started to see more Malcolm in himself and his approach to freedom. They were sure to kill him before he reached that level though. That’s a whole different topic for another day.
If you have not read, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, I highly suggest you do. I have read it three times in the last 6 years and I plan to read it multiple times in the future. I can’t stress enough how ridiculously WISE this man was. There are so many direct paragraphs in his book that can be used for, today: word for word. I’m unlearning what I was taught in terms of my Blackness. From my hair, to facial features, to my skin. I’m learning to love every single aspect of my Blackness. I’m learning that conforming to an image that was never meant for me or to celebrate me, in any way, shape or form, will not benefit me, or anyone who looks like me. I’m learning to educate myself about my real history as a Black woman, and whose names should really be written in the history books that conveniently forget us. I’m learning to give my energy and time only to people who deserve it. I’m learning to break down the walls of hatred taught to us for so many years about Muslim men and women. Especially Black Muslim men and women, who believe it or not, we were taught these untrue characteristics and stories by other Black people. But once again, that’s a topic for another day, and its own blog post.
I can feel the unrest in my body with the blatant bigotry and racism happening in this country. The hateful acts and rhetoric reflected in this country, but more so the current excuse of an administration, is enough to make the calmest person angry. James Baldwin said it best when he stated:
“to be a negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.“
I find myself looking for ways to be directly effective in action needed for change. Whether it’s being part of protesting, moving my dollars where they are deserved, or counseling a friend on improving themselves and/or our community, I feel a sense of obligation. As a mother of a little Black child, it is my duty to be sure I’m fighting for her constant equality and freedom in this country. I owe so much of my awakening, so much of my pride in my blackness to Malcolm X, and I wish I could thank him personally. In the mean time, I will continue to educate myself about the troubles in this world, and I will do my best to do my part in changing this world, by fighting hard and standing proud in my Blackness.