Saturday, February 21, 2015

On El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

Muhammad Ali and  El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
credit Bob Gomel
I get particularly annoyed when everyone insists on calling him Malcolm X. Malcolm X was a phase in his life, when he rejected the concept of holding the surname of those who kept his ancestors in bondage. 50 years after his assassination, the biggest insult the public can do is being done. Call him Malik. Call him Shabazz. Call him El-Hajj. Just stop calling him Malcolm X.

His true name, like his voice, for some reason terrifies people. An African American male who is not a declared pacifist, who to paraphrase bell hooks, "threw away the master's tools", 50 years on, is still considered dangerous.  Most of this picture painted of the controversial figure  is done by those who don't bother to read what the man wrote or listen to what he said. I do not mean quotes, or bits and pieces or inflammatory rhetoric spouted prior to his split from Elijah Muhammad. Have you ever  just listened to him after he found himself, after he returned from Mecca, directly? Click the link below:

El-Hajj Malik El Shabazz

El-Shabazz and Maya Angelou credit bknation.org
This interview was his mature voice. This is in my belief how he wished to be remembered. His legacy in maturity is not as sensational apparently. It is washed away.

It is also terribly sad to me to have him remembered on the day he was assassinated, and not on the day he returned from Mecca, with a true sense of who he was and what his mission was as an activist and advocate for African American people. Or when he was born at least. A person should not be remembered for becoming a murder victim and never having their killers brought to justice. They should be remembered for the change they made in the world.

Peace.