Malcolm X (50 Years After His Assassination)
Malcolm X was a strong hero for black human beings globally and for humanity in general. He was very honest and courageous in standing up for freedom and justice. His story is a human story that not only represented how evil economic exploitation is in the ghettos of America. His story showed the world that black people can rise up and fight oppression despite our socioeconomic conditions. We are one people and nothing will turn us around. I wrote information about Malcolm X back in 2005. Today, in 2015, we live in a new era of time. We see the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and we witness massive changes in the world society. Back in February of 1996, when I was in middle school, I did a project of Malcolm X. Back then, I was 12 and I wouldn't be 13 until December of 1996, so I was born in 1983. Now, it is time to show more information about the late Brother. Malcolm X was born in May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents were strong people. His father was named Earl Little and his mother was Louise Little (who was from Grenada, so Malcolm X had some Caribbean heritage). Both of his parents were followers of Marcus Garvey's movement. Earl Little was a tall man and he was not afraid of confronting racism in public. Earl Little taught black people about black self-pride and self-reliance (which were some of the major teachings of Marcus Garvey). You can't know about Malcolm X without learning about Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Garvey's UNIA movement was highly popular in the black community during the early 20th century. Garvey wanted black Diasporic unity, so black people can be connected or unified politically, socially, and economically with the Motherland of Africa. Garvey did not complete his mission, because of U.S. government pressure and other reasons.
Earl Little preached the message of Garvey throughout his life. Earl Little's house was burned down to the ground by white racists (on November 7, 1929), because Earl Little wanted black people to have racial justice. He believed that black people should go to Africa, because America was cruel and oppressive against black Americans. Malcolm X's father died at the hands of white racists. He was assaulted and killed by being ran over by a trolley in the city of Lansing, Michigan (on September 28, 1931). Malcolm X would never forget that moment ever in his life. Malcolm X's mother became more stressed emotionally after her husband was murdered. The household was in disarray. Bills piled up and his mother developed mental illness. Malcolm X's mother or Louise Little was sent by the authorities into the
He was desperate for survival, respect, and power. In the streets, his nickname was "Big Red." One of his great friends was nicknamed "Shorty." His real name is Malcolm Jarvis. The Massachusetts police caught Malcolm X and his friend in a robbery. Malcolm X was charged with Grand Larceny & Breaking and Entering in January 1, 1946. Later, both of them would serve time in prison. Malcolm X was at first very rebellious in prison against people. He once rejected any belief in God or spirituality. He was once nicknamed "Satan" in prison for his anti-religious attitude. His conversion to the religion of the Nation of Islam began when he was in prison. In fact, he was transferred to numerous prisons where he read not only the dictionary, but tons of other literature as well. His brother Reginald introduces to him about the teachings of the Nation of Islam in 1948. Malcolm X believed that the Nation of Islam gave him the discipline in his life to have the knowledge of self, and strength. The Nation of Islam has similarities and differences with orthodox Islam. Both refused to allow its followers to eat pork or drink alcohol. Each had moral codes in them. Both believed in the worship of Allah and viewed Jesus Christ as a great prophet (not the Messiah or the Son of the living God).
Malcolm X's membership in the Nation of Islam
Yet, the Nation of Islam is more race-centered and followed a more Afrocentric cultural and religious approach to matters than orthodox Islam. The Nation of Islam is, in essence, a separatist movement. Its members want black people to form a separate, autonomous state as a goal. That is why you hear its members talk about Nation building all of the time back then and today. A lot of views of the NOI are similar to the teachings of Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey. In fact, Marcus Garvey supported Booker T. Washington (who focused on the conservative philosophy of self help, agricultural development, and economic development). Washington and WEB DuBois disagreed on the methods on how the legitimate goal of freedom, justice, and equality for all black people ought to be achieved. Washington was right that there is nothing wrong with being upright morally & building industry in a positive direction. WEB DuBois was right in saying that we must continue to struggle for political and social equality without delay (beyond just forming some businesses. In other words, we have to develop a class analysis. We must expose the fact about how the bourgeois has exploited the working class. The working class must own the means of production in order for real economic justice to transpire. Humanity must have human rights and economic rights).
There can be no worship of laissez faire capitalism. Eric Williams' "Capitalism and Slavery" documents how white racists exploited black slaves as capital, which drove the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Both Washington and DuBois agreed that education (I mean true education) was one vital action that should be embraced in improving the lives of black people. Of course, I disagree with the Atlanta Compromise speech. We must never accommodate to the system under the guises of "self-help" and "black capitalism." Malcolm X left prison at August 1952. First, it is important to understand why the rise of the Nation of Islam existed in the black community in the first place. Back during the early to mid 20th century, black people nationwide experienced massive discrimination, racism, lynchings, and deprivation of economic opportunities. Nationalism, in many cases, existed in response to oppression against black people. Nationalism has been used by many as a defensive reaction against white racism. That is why the Nation of Islam grew. Its focus on self-help, the love of black culture, and moral improvement appealed to people. The NOI was one of the few alternatives that Northern and Midwestern black people viewed as a means to help them. Even in the North (where formal segregation laws didn’t exist), black people were forced to live in segregated neighborhoods with massive poverty, police brutality, and injustice. This situation allowed the NOI to grow. The NOI grew in Detroit, Chicago, and in other places throughout America. Under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad and the organizer Malcolm X, the movement grew to about 100,000 people by 1961. After the assassination of Malcolm X, the Nation declined in influence until the 1980’s when the Nation of Islam made a huge comeback. The 1995 Million Man March was formed with great influence from the NOI. Also, the NOI today is more politically active (as compared to decades ago when the Nation of Islam was less involved in political affairs). Even when Malcolm X was in the Nation of Islam, no one could refute his arguments of condemning racism in America, of abhoring police brutality, of opposing imperialism, and and exposing the corporate exploitation of the black community. I agree with the NOI on some issues and I disagree with them on other issues.
There is no liberation in some token "black pro-capitalist" rhetoric when the working class and the poor deserve economic justice. I reject anti-immigrant chauvinism or xenophobia and I oppose misogyny. I don't believe in Islamophobia and I oppose anti-Semitism. Not to mention that I reject blaming black people collectively for oppression (which has been done not only by white racists, but by some black people). We will condemn not only Western imperialism, but we will condemn slavery going on in Sudan and Mauritania. The current system can't be reformed. We need revolutionary change.
He met Elijah Muhammad for the first time in person during the year of 1952 in Chicago. Malcolm X became a strong spokesman of the Nation of Islam. The X as his surname represents the unknown in mathematics. He used the X letter as way for him to signify that white racists took black people's culture, names, religion, and land. So, X was used to repudiate the surname, which was imposed on his black ancestors by white slave-owners. His great oratory ability and his charisma caused the NOI to increase its membership and power in leaps and bounds. He helped to create the "Elijah Muhammad" Speaks newspaper. Malcolm X spoke everywhere in the ghettos, in the universities, and he was involved in numerous debates. He loved to debate people. He was debating scholars, civil rights activists, and other experts in sociology and racial matters. Nation of Islam members (including Malcolm X) preached not only about the beauty of blackness and the greatness of black history, which is true. They taught that white people are "devils" sent to oppress black people and black people will have to form a separate nation in order for liberation to exist for black people. Malcolm X later felt that the Nation of Islam should become more involved in political engagements (not just in spiritual development) as a means for all black people to be free. Today, the NOI is involved much more in political activism than back then.
Betty Shabbaz saw Malcolm X speaking in a meeting. They later met formally in a dinner party. Each person respected and loved each other a great deal. Betty Shabbaz was impressed with Malcolm X's leadership and work ethic. They dated in museums, dinner parties, meetings, etc. Soon, they married in January 14, 1958. The couple had six daughters. Their names were Attallah, who was born in 1958 and she was named after Attila the Hun. Qubilah was born in 1960 and she was named after Kublai Khan. Ilyasah was born in 1962 and she was named after Elijah Muhammad. Gamilah Lumumba was born in 1964 and she named after Patrice Lumumba. The twins, Malikah and Malaak, were born in 1965 after their father's assassination and they were named after him. The mainstream media's "The Hate that Hate Produced" documentary presented the NOI to most of American society for the first time in history. Louis Lomax and Mike Wallace were involved in the documentary. That's an interesting title of that documentary since it was the racist hate from white racists that oppressed black people for centuries. This documentary came about years after the brutal murder of Emmitt Till. So, the NOI's existence was created in reaction to oppression. There is absolutely no justification for any form of racial hatred, but we can never solve our problems without exposing the origins of our problems in the first place. After 1959, Malcolm X's popularity grew all over the United States of America. There was the case of the evil death of Brother Ronald Stokes. Ronald Stokes was a NOI member who was killed unjustly by the LAPD in April 27, 1962. Stokes was a Korean war veteran. Stokes was in a mosque expressing his religious liberty rights. The police stormed the mosque in retalitation of the Muslims being acquitted over various charges. The police shot and killed Stokes when his hands were up. Malcolm X wept over the death of Stokes since Stokes was a great friend of Malcolm X when Malcolm X traveled into the West Coast. Malcolm X immediately gave a speech in Los Angeles to condemn police brutality, racism, and injustice. In that speech, he made the accurate point that black people are not oppressed by their religion or their membership in organizations. We are oppressed by racist terrorists, because WE ARE BLACK. Malcolm X wanted widespread demonstrations to fight police brutality in Los Angeles. Elijah Muhammad called off these massive demonstrations. Malcolm X disagreed with this action in private. More disagreements would cause Malcolm X to leave the Nation of Islam. Also, it is important to show that the FBI monitored Malcolm X and the NOI all of the time. The FBI used divide and conquer strategies as a way for the feds to divide Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad intentionally (so, the black liberation struggle can be weakened).
Malcolm X's Message to the Grassroots speech in Detroit on November 10, 1963 outlined the further outline of his views while he was in the Nation of Islam. The speech was delivered in the Northern Negro Grassroots Leadership Conference in King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit is home to strong black people and home to a strong black nationalist community. In the speech, Malcolm X shown the difference between a real Black revolution and the fake “Negro” revolution. He called house Negroes those who loved the interests of the white establishment and he classified field Negroes as people who wanted real revolution. He criticized the March on Washington as a carefully organized farce or circus used to pacify the black community (since the March was aided by corporate dollars and corporate approval). The speech showed the history of numerous revolutions in the world. In the speech, Malcolm X said that:
“…The white man knows what a revolution is. He knows that the black revolution is world-wide in scope and in nature. The black revolution is sweeping Asia, sweeping Africa, is rearing its head in Latin America. The Cuban Revolution — that’s a revolution. They overturned the system. Revolution is in Asia. Revolution is in Africa. And the white man is screaming because he sees revolution in Latin America. How do you think he’ll react to you when you learn what a real revolution is? You don’t know what a revolution is. If you did, you wouldn’t use that word. A revolution is bloody. Revolution is hostile. Revolution knows no compromise. Revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way. And you, sitting around here like a knot on the wall, saying, “I’m going to love these folks no matter how much they hate me.” No, you need a revolution. Whoever heard of a revolution where they lock arms, as Reverend Cleage was pointing out beautifully, singing “We Shall Overcome”? Just tell me. You don’t do that in a revolution. You don’t do any singing; you’re too busy swinging. It’s based on land. A revolutionary wants land so he can set up his own nation, an independent nation. These Negroes aren’t asking for no nation. They’re trying to crawl back on the plantation…”
This speech was very important, because it was one of his last speeches while he was in the Nation of Islam. Also, it deal with political issues and it showed the harsh truths that some were afraid of hearing, but nevertheless it had to be told.
The Beginning of the Split
Malcolm X said that after the Kennedy assassination that it was the case of the chickens coming home to roost. Malcolm X's statements were misinterpreted. Malcolm X conveyed the point that the climate of hate contributed to the dangerous atmosphere which caused the unfortunate assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Malcolm X was never trying to intentionally slander JFK or his family at all. Still, Malcolm X was suspended for 90 days by Elijah Muhammad. Later, he was suspended indefinitely. Malcolm X (under his suspension) could not preach in any Nation of Islam mosque and he could not make statements on behalf of the NOI. Malcolm X was hurt and tried to get back and end the suspension. He was unsuccessful. Therefore, on March 8, 1964, he publicly state that he has left the Nation of Islam officially. He wanted to use more independent action in getting racism eradicated in the world. He had ideological disagreements with the Nation of Islam, because Malcolm X believed that the Nation of Islam didn't go far enough in executing political, social action which can cause liberation for black people. Also, Malcolm X found out about the allegations that Elijah Muhammad committed adultery against his wife and had many children (from sectaries and other NOI women) who were not from his wife. This greatly disturbed Malcolm X, because the NOI in his mind should be an excellent example of morality. He founded Muslim Mosque Inc. which was an independent black Muslim organization. The MMI was totally dedicated to the liberation and freedom of black people. It was heavily religious. He also created the OAAU or the Organization of Afro-American Unity. The OAAU was secular in allowing any black person (regardless of his religious background, nationality, or gender) to join. THe OAAU was dedicated to the freedom of black people too. The OAAU believed in pan-Africanism. Malcolm X in his March 12, 1964 Declaration of Independence wanted to work with any legitimate organization that wanted to fight for the liberation of black people:
"...I’m not out to fight other Negro leaders or organizations. We must find a common approach, a common solution, to a common problem. As of this minute, I’ve forgotten everything bad that the other leaders have said about me, and I pray they can also forget the many bad things I’ve said about them. The problem facing our people here in America is bigger than all other personal or organizational differences. Therefore, as leaders, we must stop worrying about the threat that we seem to think we pose to each other’s personal prestige, and concentrate our united efforts toward solving the unending hurt that is being done daily to our people here in America..."
From March 8, 1964 to May of 1964 was the transitional period of Malcolm X’s life. This period was from his split from the Nation of Islam to a little after his famous Hajj. During this period, he further developed his views. Malcolm X gave an interview about his views with A.B. Spellman on March 3, 1964. Malcolm X said that he wanted to think for himself and he did. One of his greatest speeches that he ever gave was the “Ballet or the Bullet” speech. No one can understand fully about Malcolm X without reading, listening, and comprehending what that speech was talking about. Malcolm X stood up for human being's right of self defense. As he said in March 12,1964: "...Concerning nonviolence: it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe in obeying the law..." He delivered it at the symposium sponsored by CORE (or the Congress of Racial Equality. CORE at this time was more militant than the SCLC. CORE became more conservative by the late 1960’s and in the 1970’s. For example, CORE leaders supported the presidency of Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972, which was wrong).
Malcolm X’s “Ballot or the Bullet” was a historic speech, which took place on April 3, 1964 in Cleveland. He also gave his later, definitive Ballot or the Bullet speech, which people know about, on April 12, 1964 inside of King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. That speech not displayed great black intellectual strength, but it advocated revolutionary political solutions. The ghetto is a domestic colony and Malcolm X supported the interests of the oppressed courageously. Malcolm X knew about the ghetto for real. The Ballot or the Bullet speech was heavily about the legitimate promotion of political independence. He condemned not only liberal establishment figures, but the Democratic Party itself, because the Democratic Party have executed racism against the black community for a long time (Many people have to witness that George Wallace and other racists were Democrats). As Malcolm X said in the Ballot or the Bullet speech:
"...The Dixiecrats in Washington, D.C., control the key committees that run the government. The only reason the Dixiecrats control these committees is because they have seniority. The only reason they have seniority is because they come from states where Negroes can't vote. This is not even a government that's based on democracy. lt. is not a government that is made up of representatives of the people. Half of the people in the South can't even vote. Eastland is not even supposed to be in Washington. Half of the senators and congressmen who occupy these key positions in Washington, D.C., are there illegally, are there unconstitutionally....When you expand the civil-rights struggle to the level of human rights, you can then take the case of the black man in this country before the nations in the UN. You can take it before the General Assembly. You can take Uncle Sam before a world court. But the only level you can do it on is the level of human rights. Civil rights keeps you under his restrictions, under his jurisdiction. Civil rights keeps you in his pocket. Civil rights means you're asking Uncle Sam to treat you right. Human rights are something you were born with. Human rights are your God-given rights. Human rights are the rights that are recognized by all nations of this earth. And any time any one violates your human rights, you can take them to the world court...."
He wanted black people to display a more united front to fight evil and oppression. He admitted that he didn’t see any American dream, but an American nightmare. Malcolm X in his speech condemned the token acts of both major parties and wanted black people to register as political Independents, so they can vote for the best candidates. Malcolm X was right to say in the Ballot or the Bullet speech that if the government continued to refuse allow black Americans to have full equality (as he eloquently proved how the federal government deprived black people of their human rights in the Ballot or the Bullet), then African Americans have every right to use self-defense by any means necessary to defend plus protect their own communities. The Ballot or the Bullet speech endorsed Black Nationalism (or the view that African Americans should use their own power to govern the affair of their own communities). The speech wanted more political action. His April 8, 1964 speech called “The Black Revolution” outlined his revolutionary views further. He said in the speech that: "...So today, when the black man starts reaching out for what America says are his rights, the black man feels that he is within his rights when he becomes the victim of brutality by those who are depriving him of his right to do whatever is necessary to protect himself..." In the same speech, Malcolm X gave a profound statement about what he wanted in April 8, 1964. He said the following words:
"....All of our people have the same goals, the same objective. That objective is freedom, justice, and equality. All of us want recognition and respect as human beings. We don't want to be integrationists. Nor do we want to be separationists. We want to be human beings. Integration is only a method that is used by some groups to obtain freedom, justice, and equality and respect as human beings. Separation is only a method that is used by other groups to obtain freedom, justice, and equality or human dignity. Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods or tactics or strategy to reach a common objective. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for integration, nor we are fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as human beings. We are fighting for the right to live as free human beings in this society. in fact, we are actually fighting for rights that are even greater than civil rights that is human rights..." The Black Revolution speech of April 1964 said that America can have a chance to bring about to have a bloodless revolution.
The NOI files eviction proceedings against Malcolm X also in early April of 1964. He starts to further travel internationally.
He travels under the name of Malik El-Shabbaz. By April 19, 1964, he traveled in to Mecca to have his famous pilgrimage (which is a requirement of every Muslim to do if one is able). While in Mecca, Malcolm X saw an unique brotherhood among people of different colors that he doesn’t witness in America. He gets a more progressive insight on racial matters. Malcolm X witnessed Muslims of all colors worshiping Allah, working together, and respecting each other as one human family while he was in the Hajj. He believed that the religion of Islam can contribute to end the antagonism that exists among white Americans. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal honored Malcolm X as a guest of the state on April 21-30, 1964. Here are exerpts from Malcolm X's letter from Mecca on April 20, 1964:
"...Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this Ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other Prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors. I have been blessed to visit the Holy City of Mecca. I have made my seven circuits around the Ka'ba, led by a young Mutawaf named Muhammad. I drank water from the well of the Zam Zam. I ran seven times back and forth between the hills of Mt. Al-Safa and Al-Marwah. I have prayed in the ancient city of Mina, and I have prayed on Mt. Arafat.
There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white.
America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered 'white'--but the 'white' attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color. You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to re-arrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.
During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug)--while praying to the same God--with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions in the deeds of the 'white' Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan, and Ghana.
We were truly all the same (brothers)--because their belief in one God had removed the white from their minds, the white from their behavior, and the white from their attitude.
I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man--and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their 'differences' in color..."
The Later Events of Malcolm X's Life
From 1964 to 1965, Malcolm X developed both of his MMI and OAAU organizations. The MMI or the Muslim Mosque Incorporated was purely religious and it was used to express Islamic expression (outside of the framework of the Nation of Islam). The OAAU organization was a political group that accepted black people who were religious, secular, etc. The OAAU stands for the Organization of Afro-American Unity. The OAAU wanted to unify black people globally as a way for the black community to have freedom, justice, and equality. Both the MMI and the OAAU were formed in June of 1964. At the heart of the OAAU was that it was a Black Nationalist organization whose goal was building up the black community, having voter registration drives, set up black enterprises, and allows black people to control their own community. Malcolm X traveled overseas to meet with African heads of state to not only promote pan-African unity. He wanted to gain their support, so America can be tried in international court for America committing human rights abuses against African Americans. He met with Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Nasser of Egypt as a way to defend the interests of the Third World. Malcolm X supported the independent revolutions of Africa and the Third World as a means of standing up to the Western, imperial hegemony. As time went on, Malcolm X spoke in more international terms. He said that black people are in an international struggle for freedom in fighting for human rights. Malcolm X opposed imperialism and he criticized capitalism by his own words. We know that some NOI members threatened his life. Harassing phone calls from NOI members were sent to him and to his wife. Also, the FBI and the CIA monitored him worldwide illegally not just in the States. Malcolm X attends the second African Summit Conference in Cairo in August 8, 1964.
On November 24, 1964, Malcolm X returned to the United States of America. During that time, he spent a total of 25 weeks abroad during the year. During this time, LBJ was re-elected and there was the U.S. government's intervention in the Congolese civil war (in trying to make the Congo a pro-Western puppet state). In Malcolm X's December 12, 1964 (in the Audubon) mentioned that he went to talk to African heads of State to get African support for his action of bringing attention to the human rights of then 22 million African Americans. In the speech, he praised President Julius Nyerere as well and he condemned the U.S. involvement in the Congolese civil war.
Malcolm X's views are furthered articulated when he speaks in Oxford University in England on December 3, 1964. In that speech, he exposes the hypocrisy of American “democracy,” and he endorses self-defense. He said that: “…extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Malcolm X spoke in December of 1964 to support Fannie Lou Hammer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Malcolm X speaks at the Militant Labor Forum in his “Prospects for Freedom in 1965.” By January of 1965, Malcolm X’s views evolved rapidly. He was ideologically become more progressive and he allowed women to have leadership positions in the OAAU. During the last months of his life, Malcolm X was developing a revolutionary, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist approach in fighting oppression. He planned to send a petition to the United Nations as a way to make America accountable for its human rights violations against black Americans. He not only criticized the Kennedy administration for its response to the civil rights issue. He opposed Lyndon Johnson for his reformist rhetoric, his support of the Western imperial bombings of the Congo, and for his advocacy of the Vietnam War. On February 14, 1965, his house is firebombed. His wife and his daughters also survive the attack. It happened in 2:46 am. He comes to Detroit to speak about it. While addressing an OAAU rally at the Audubon Ballroom, Malcolm X is shot several times and murdered on February 21, 1965.
The revolutionary Malcolm X was killed on February 21, 1965 in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom. He wanted to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity. The audience was about 400 people and his wife including his children were present. Benjamin X introduced him. When Malcolm X got on stage, he first said the Islamic greeting “As-salamu alaykum.” Then, one person said, “N____ Get your hand outta my pocket!” Malcolm X and his bodyguard tried to end the disturbance and then a man came forward and shot him once in the chest with a sawed off shotgun. Later, 2 other men charge the stage and fired semi-automatic handguns at Malcolm X. The secret undercover agent Gene Roberts tried to save Malcolm X’s life. Malcolm X’s wife protected her children and she was crying. Malcolm X was pronounced dead at 3:30 pm., which was shortly after arriving at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. One gunman named Talmadge Hayer (who was a member of the Nation of Islam during the time of the assassination) was beaten by the crowd before the police came about. During this day, there were no cops unlike previous events. Witnesses have said that the person who used the shotgun was a large Black man with a navy blue gray trench coat. People have said that the man who shot the shotgun was William Bradley. Talmadge Hayer had said this too and William Bradly recently via his lawyer has denied the allegations. One thing is true though. The assassination of Malcolm X was a conspiracy and the U.S. government illegally monitored Malcolm X’s activity domestically and internationally (via the NYPD, the CIA, and the FBI).
That is a fact and that has been documented by Karl Evanzz’s excellent book entitled, “The Judas Factor” where he writes that John Ali (of the NOI) was an FBI informant. We know that Talmadge Hayer was one gunman. In the beginning, Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X were tried and convicted in March 1966. Later, Hayer issued a confession on 1977 and 1978. His confession has been called the Hayer affidavits. The affidavits said that Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson were not the assassins. Hayer said that the conspiracy involved members of the Nation of Islam’s Newark, New Jersey, Temple Number 25 with people like Wilbur McKinley (who shouted and threw a smoke bomb to create a diversion), William Bradley (he is Al-Mustafa Shabazz today. He denies involvement in the evil assassination of Brother Malcolm X), Leon Davis, and Benjamin Thomas. Leon Davis, according to Hayer fired his pistol at Malcolm X after the diversion. Benjamin Thomas, according to Hayer, was involved in the conspiracy. Also, we can’t omit the role of the FBI, the CIA, and the NYPD had in the oppression of Malcolm X either. The FBI and the CIA illegally surveilled Malcolm X constantly. The CIA monitored Malcolm X’s meetings in Europe and Africa including Asia where he met heads of State (and wanted to go into the Bandung Conference of March 3, 1965. Malcolm X also wanted charges to be brought against America for its overt human rights violations of African Americans at the UN and at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. His petition was scheduled at The Hague on March 12, 1965).
The Judas Factor book documents how the FBI’s William C. Sullivan used BOSSI (or the New York Police Bureau of Special Services) to infiltrate the OAAU via black American agents. BOSSI Director Anthony Ulasewicz supported this action. The author Karl Evanzz used documents from the FBI, books, and documents to show this research. Another author named Baba Zak Kondo also documents that John Ali was most likely a FBI agent. It is no secret that the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation wanted to neutralize Elijah Muhammad, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and any revolutionary or black nationalist leader who could be a black Messiah (in galvanizing the masses of black people in establishing real social change). There were diverse reactions to the assassination of Malcolm X. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sent a respectful telegram to Sister Betty Shabazz saying that he was sad at the shocking and tragic assassination of Malcolm X.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. mentioned that:
“…While we did not always see eye to eye on methods to solve the race problem, I always had a deep affection for Malcolm and felt that he had a great ability to put his finger on the existence and root of the problem. He was an eloquent spokesman for his point of view and no one can honestly doubt that Malcolm had a great concern for the problems that we face as a race…”
Elijah Muhammad in my view said disrespectful comments about Malcolm X even after he was assassinated. Elijah Muhammad told the annual Savior’s Day convention on February 26 that, “ Malcolm X got just what he preached…We know such ignorant, foolish teachings would bring him to his own end….” Elijah Muhammad was wrong to say that Malcolm X preached violence when he did not. Malcolm X preached self-defense and human freedom. Writer James Baldwin, who had been a friend of Malcolm X's, was in London when he heard the news of the assassination. He responded with indignation towards the reporters interviewing him, shouting, "You did it! It is because of you—the men that created this white supremacy—that this man is dead. You are not guilty, but you did it.... Your mills, your cities, your rape of a continent started all this." Many of the Western news media individuals were disrespectful to Malcolm X also in response to his assassination. The New York Times wrote that Malcolm X was "an extraordinary and twisted man" who "turn[ed] many true gifts to evil purpose" and that his life was "strangely and pitifully wasted". TIME called him "an unashamed demagogue" whose "creed was violence." TIME will also slander Dr. King after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would courageously oppose the Vietnam War (which was done after his Riverside Church speech in April 4, 1967).
Outside of the U.S., and particularly in Africa, the press was sympathetic. The Daily Times of Nigeria wrote that Malcolm X "will have a place in the palace of martyrs." The Ghanaian Times likened him to John Brown and Patrice Lumumba, and counted him among "a host of Africans and Americans who were martyred in freedom's cause". Guangming Daily, published in Beijing, stated that "Malcolm was murdered because he fought for freedom and equal rights", while in Cuba, El Mundo described the assassination as "another racist crime to eradicate by violence the struggle against discrimination.” There must be the release of all government filed at it relates to the assassination of Malcolm X. Decades have past and now is the time for this action to be done. Let's clear up on thing too. Malcolm X was never evolving into a pro-liberal establishment, pro-Democrat person. Malcolm X was a revolutionary and progressive black nationalist leader by the time of his assassination. He was becoming more progressive and more internationalist. Malcolm X criticized capitalism, imperialism, Zionism, and racism in uncompromising terms. There must be an independent investigation of the assassination of Malcolm X.
There was the public viewing of Malcolm X from February 23-26, 1965 at Unity Funeral Home in Harlem. It was attended by from 14,000 to 30,000 mourners. Malcolm X always loved Harlem and Harlem loved Malcolm X as well. The funeral took place on February 27, 1965. There were loudspeakers set up for the overflowing crowd outside of Harlem’s thousand seat Faith Temple of the Church of God in Christ. A local television station carried the service live. There were many people who attended the funeral including members of the civil rights movement. These people were John Lewis, Bayard Rustin (that’s ironic since Rustin was one of his greatest ideological critics), James Forman, James Farmer, Jesse Gray, and Andrew Young. The actor and human rights activist himself Ossie Davis gave a stirring, great, and eloquent who delivered a great eulogy. His eulogy personified the truth that Malcolm X was our shining black prince and he was our living black manhood. Malcolm X was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Friends used the gravediggers’ shovels to complete the burial themselves out of respect for Brother Malcolm X.
The following pieces of sources are what I recommend for anyone to gain further understanding about Malcolm X and the black liberation struggle. There are tons of other books, speeches, and other sources that can be of use too, but I show these sources because they carry very special importance. These sources show his life, the life of his family including his friends plus allies. Here are the following sources:
1). A. Peter Bailey's (along with Malcolm X's nephew Rodnell P.Collins) of "A Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X" (2002). A. Peter Bailey was one of the members of the OAAU.
2). "February 1965: The Final Speeches" by Betty Shabazz, Steve Clark, and Pathfinder Press
3). George Breitman's "The Last Year of Malcolm X: The Revolution of a Revolutionary" (1967).
4). Ilyasah Shabazz's "Growing Up X" (2002). Sister Illyasah also wrote a new novel in 2015 entitled, "X: A Novel." She worked with Kekla Magoon as well. Sister Ilyasah Shabazz is the daughter of Malcolm X.
5). James Cone's "Martin and Malcolm: A Dream or a Nightmare"
6). Komozi Woodard’s “A Nation Within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics” (1999).
7). Karl Evanzz's "The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X" and his book entitled, "The Messenger: The Rise and Fall of Elijah Muhammad."
8). Louis Lomax's "To Kill a Black Man: The Shocking Parallel in the Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr." (1968).
9). "Malcolm X Speaks" which was edited by George Breitman
10). Manning Marable's "Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction and Beyond in Black America, 1945-2006" (2007).
11). Roland Sheppard's "Why the Government Assassinated Malcolm X And Martin Luther King Jr." (2014). Roland Sheppard is one of the living witnesses to the assassination of Malcolm X.
12). Rosemari Mealy's "Fidel and Malcolm X: Memories of a Meeting" (1993).
13). "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" by Malcolm X (it was edited by Alex Haley).
14). William Sales Jr.'s "From Civil Rights to Black Liberation: Malcolm X and the Organization of Afro-American Unity (South End Press, 1994).
15). Zak A. Kondo's "Conspiracy: Unraveling the Assassination of Malcolm X (1993).
For a long time, many black people have stood up for liberation, truth, and justice. Malcolm X was a strong black man who was honest. He said in public what many human beings said in private. His voice was strong, courageous, and uncompromising. When he was in the NOI and when he left, he always advocated the total liberation of the black community. By traveling all over the world, Malcolm X understood greatly about how the Third World have every right to fight for freedom against Western imperialism. Malcolm X talked in many locations and had a great charisma. He stood up and defended the human rights of black people. One of his greatest gifts was that he developed transformation in his intellectual development. He constantly learned information and Malcolm X became more progressive as time moved on in his life. He loved his wife, his children, and his family. Malcolm X loved Black people. He loved black people so much that he risked his life in speaking the truth without fear. Malcolm X condemned police brutality and predicted the rebellions that would sweep America from 1964 to 1968. The Sunni Muslim Malcolm X accurately stated that we live in a struggle between the oppressor and the oppressed. Malcolm X's words, speeches, and interviews in 1965 have shown some of the most profound commentaries on society in American history. Malcolm X was not a reactionary and he wasn't a member of the liberal establishment.
He was a progressive, black revolutionary. The Malcolm X of 1965 was more revolutionary and more progressive than the Malcolm X of 1960. The anti-capitalist Brother Malcolm X was a hero and a warrior for our people (and for the human race in general). So, we should learn about the past, work in the present, and fight for a better future. We ought to know what time it is if we want to be free. Our time is now. We should work in our communities. We should not only do that. We have to have a racial and class consciousness. We ought to form alliances with people of black African descent globally (as Afro-Brazilians, Afro-French, Afro-French, the Africans, all Afro-Latinos, Afro-Caribbeans, etc. are our Brothers and our Sisters. We are one people). Malcolm X’s family, friends, and colleagues, are still upholding Malcolm X’s principles and his legacy in our generation. He was an independent thinking activist. 2015 is a new opportunity for us to do the work in which Malcolm X has done. We not only need economic and social justice. We deserve total liberation as human beings.
RIP Brother Malcolm X