Malcolm X meant many things to many people. [Mshairi]
I couldn’t agree more.
It is a shame that there are still those who refer to Malcolm X as racist and violent.
It is saddens me that not many recognise that by the time of his death Malcolm X was no longer Malcolm X. He was el Hajj Malik el-Shabazz
I admire Brother Shabazz for so many things but there are two things in particular that make him stand out as one of our greatest leaders.
Firstly he saw himself as real African-American. He recognised the struggles of not just the black people in America but of his fellow black people in Africa. He saw them not as two seperate struggles but as one struggle. The struggle of ‘the exploited against the exploiter’. [Feb 18, 1965 – Barnard College]
Secondly Shabazz had the humility and the courage to stand up and say:
In the past, yes, I have made sweeping indictments of all white people. I will never be guilty of that again — as I know now that some white people are truly sincere, that some truly are capable of being brotherly toward a black man. The true Islam has shown me that a blanket indictment of all white people is as wrong as when whites make blanket indictments against blacks.
[The Autobiography of Malcolm X p.g 479]
This from a man, a black man who had grown up at a time when black people in America had no rights. A man whose father was killed by the KKK. A man who knew nothing of his white maternal grandfather other than the fact it brought ‘shame’ to his mother.
Many of us, as Africans are yet to hear the pro-royalist, pro-empire people acknowldege that the empire was built by the blood and sweat of my people.did to our people.
Yet one black man, inspite of all the discrimination, hatred and oppression that he and his fellow black Americans had suffered, had the courage to see beyond all this and apologise for his lack of understanding.
That is the mark of a good leader, a real hero. That is why I shall always remember Brother Shabazz.