REMEMBERING MALCOLM X /EL HAJJ MALIK SHABAZZ
MAY 19, 1925 — FEBRUARY 21, 1965
By Sainey Faye
He was one of our African revolutionary freedom fighters, who contributed immensely to our liberation struggle. He helped influence the political consciousness of Black Americans, during the Civil Rights struggle in the U.S.A.; and elsewhere in the Caribbean and Africa in the 1960’s.His conversion to a Black Muslim was transformative, which led to his Hajj to Mecca, and extensive travels and contacts in Africa, Middle East, and elsewhere. He was a revolutionary who was self taught in prison, memorizing the dictionary for the most part as he recalls in his author biography, by Alex Haley our ‘Roots’ author.
Malcolm X came on the scene in the sixties, at a time when the African Independence movement was gaining momentum.He had studied and learnt of Marcus Garvey – his father was a Garveyite, and was quick to make the connection with other Africans in the Diaspora, and the motherland fighting for freedom, liberty, independence, and human dignity. He was in the struggle with Martin Luther King, Jr. fighting for equality, justice, voting rights, etc. but their methods of achieving these goals were different. His was regarded as radical, and King’s more moderate; and their philosophies were not the same with regards to the tactics and strategies to be used to obtain their goals.
A year after the founding of the OAU, in July 17, 1964 – he visited Cairo, Egypt where the second conference of Independent African Heads of States were meeting. There were 33 Heads of States in attendance in this historic gathering, the first ever. He was invited to address the body and prepare a memorandum detailing the condition of African Americans in the United States.He did and never minced words, to a standing ovation of his brothers and sisters.He told them that ….”No one knows the master than the slave……..etc. etc.” (Read up on the text) or speech he delivered. He internationalized their plight as a human rights problem, rather than a civil rights problem, and warned them to be careful, and unite, help their suffering brethren worldwide, or else their political independence will be meaningless; and they will be back fighting each other for nothing. He cautioned them about neo-colonialism. and how true his predictions are today. Look around Africa and Africans worldwide, anywhere you see them outside their motherland(Africa), they are the servants of others.; even though their continent is the richest in natural resources, and precious metals. Add to that the disrespect they get from the rest of the world.
Finally, from there he was invited to visit 16 African countries. His African trips help solidify the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), which he helped build to link up with other African Liberation Struggles on the continent. The Black Power movement literally took up where he left off, when he was assassinated; in terms and with regards to political agitation, voting rights, equal rights, self defence, proud to be Black/African, and above all Freedom for his people.
Malcolm’s short life was well sacrificed to liberate his people —–African people in the diaspora, and everywhere they may be scattered and suffering in the world. One can only chronicle a little of what this freedom fighter did for the struggle to emancipate his people, and we shall always remember him for his contribution, when we commemorate in the month of February 21, when he joined the ancestors.
Below are some famous quotations and words of wisdom from Malcolm X : –
” You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”
” You can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself.”
“You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being.”
” A new world order is in the making and it is up to us to prepare ourselves that we may take our rightful place in it.”
‘ Power in defense of Freedom is greater than power in behalf off tyranny and oppression.”
“When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that he will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom, but in the next breath he is going to tell you what he won’t do to get it, or what he doesn’t believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn’t believe in freedom. A man who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire…or preserve his freedom.”
Thank you very much Sainey for your very vibrant & invaluable in-quoted messages to Gambians & friends & to our political opposition leaders in particular in this very trying times… Especially in your last quoted paragraph which is fervently truer for all times & periods… Forward Gambia… Ameen.
thaanks. Malcom was true to him self.
Really great person; Malcolm X, and the like: Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkuruma, Martin Luther King, Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, etc., etc.,
The only problem all of them have now is:- they are not getting the prayers they deserve because, they shake in their graves to the sight of the comportment of some of those ruthless dictators across the continent, for instance the DRACULA in the Gambia.