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Today on May 19, 1925 Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Today is a day that many celebrate all over the world and not just in Black America. I took this time to write this blog because I personally have sincere genuine connection to the spirit of the one known mostly as Malcolm X. When I was a Junior in High School the first book that I ever read, because I really wanted to learn and it wasn’t out of obligation was the Autobiography of Malcolm X written by Alex Haley. I checked it out at my school library and I read every single page. As a child I became fascinated with this figure, and I give most of that credit to Spike Lee and his depiction of Malcolm X on screen by Denzel Washington. I was probably about 7 when I first saw the movie and I’d never seen a Black man appear so powerful to me. It was mind blowing and from that point on I think that made a change in me. The strength in his character and the love of Betty Shabazz forever changed my life, I didn’t know it then but when I look back at it now, I KNOW that THAT is really what gave me a different mindset. So I show my upmost respect for Spike Lee and Denzel Washington for bringing that brother to life on film for the next generation to see. Upon further study later in my life I know realize that there was so much more missing in that story that I wouldn’t have been able to understand then, but I most surely understand it now. I always relate to the brother as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz and I’ll explain why below.
Happy Birthday Malcolm X El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
Malcolm certainly displayed his heart and passion for the world to see and took no shame in who he was. He expressed many things that everyday people thought and he showed us how to be proud, how to love who you are and how to stand for what you believe in even if it meant dying. And it’s sad that so many with this type of spirit die at the hands of those they love most. We won’t elaborate on who or what killed Malcolm, that’s not what today is about, today is about celebrating everything that he gave us and showed us, and how part of him lives on in every last one of us.
To me Malcolm was a righteous man, stubborn and firm in his beliefs. We see this with his work with the Nation of Islam and his support for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm was all for his people and the message, he was a long way from the criminal Malcolm Little that set him in prison, but I guess that was all necessary. It was meant for Malcolm to be who he was and go through what he did so that he could be the man we all remember him as. He was a firm supporter of the NOI and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad because he owes becoming the man he was to the discipline that he learned with the NOI. I get that and understand that now. The reason I refer to Malcolm as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz is because this is who Malcolm evolved into as he advanced on his path outside of the Nation of Islam. Don’t get me wrong I have no problem with the NOI but it is still a religious system, and religions ALWAYS goes back to the State, but all things are necessary in it’s time. It was a time that we needed the NOI and I feel as though that time has passed. Don’t get me wrong I learned many things from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, it gave me an additional perspective but that’s what it’s supposed to do and that’s what I accept it as.
Happy Birthday Malcolm X El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz is the name that Malcolm took on after he took his pilgrimage to Mecca and Egypt. The name Hajj means one who has taken the pilgrimage, Malik of course means king, and Shabazz means royal, noble and El- means God. Some say that Malcolm X was a racist and to a certain extent he was at some point, but who wasn’t at some point?? What I mean is, when you learn about how your history and ancestry and everything about you and your roots was stolen and taken from you, that your ancestors had acts of genocide created against you and you live in a time, where there is an evident white supremicist society around you, you best believe you are going to be angry. But El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz showed me growth taught me the most valuable thing that I carry with me to this day, and that thing is GROWTH. Growth because he went from Malcolm Little, to Malcolm X, to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. Growth because he later chose to be involved with other Black leaders such as Martin Luther King even though he wasn’t a Christian. Growth because he started to understand that’s it’s about HUMAN rights and not CIVIL rights. Growth, because so many of us walk the exact same path and not everyone can grow. He knew what the NOI had done to him, he knew what was going on, but he stayed firm in his belief and his cause and kept on moving. He outgrew the Nation he became bigger than the nation and I don’t mean as an idol, I mean as a spirit. Thank you El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz for teaching me something that has been important for me in this journey called life. Much love and respect to our King El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz! Happy Birthday and R.est I.n P.ower! Remember “I am Malcolm X”