Saturday, February 21, 2015

In Memoriam: Malcom X

"Remembering The Civil Rights Activist and Pop Culture Icon."

50 years ago today a hail of bullets silenced one of the 20th century’s most prolific and well-spoken leaders. Feb. 21 is the 50th anniversary of his assassination on the stage of the Audubon Ballroom at Broadway and 165th Street in New York City.In life, Malcom X urged people to change their way of thinking and to treat everyone with respect, kindness and fair sensibility.

Malcolm X, was one of the most important figures of the second half of the 20th century, he brought a different perspective to Black America and to the world. His perspective was different from that of the late great, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; it was different from many other civil rights activists, however he operated within the same pantheon as his counterparts.

Malcolm X spoke truth about what was taking place in urban ghettos throughout the U.S. He also brought much needed attention to the plight of people of color in America and often by doing so in a controversial manner. Although extremely controversial , 50 years later his words reverberate through time and resonate in today’s world.
Malcom X was a riveting speaker with an amazingly sharp intellect, Malcolm’s black nationalist vision grew in power and influence over the ensuing decades and was made even more legendary by director Spike Lee’s acclaimed biopic, which featured Oscar-winner Denzel Washington in perhaps his most memorable role as the slain leader.

Fifty years ago, Malcolm X was a figure who inspired fear – but time has been kinder to his image and message, which was far more nuanced and insightful than it seemed when a shocked nation first encountered it in the late 1950s and early ‘60s.

Malcolm himself may not have envisioned himself one day emblazoned on a U.S. postage stamp, but he did foresee his own demise, which came just days after his home was firebombed.

“It is a time for martyrs now, and if I am to be one, it will be for the cause of brotherhood,” Malcolm, just 39 years old, said two days before his assassination. “That’s the only thing that can save this country.”
It is quite  often said that revolution is for the young; this was true of Malcolm. Though he now sometimes looms larger than life, he was just 27 years old when he began preaching  in Harlem and only 39 years old when at least seven bullets left him gasping for his final breaths, just mere moments after greeting a crowd with “As-Salaam-Alaikum.” Peace be unto you.