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Mon May 19, 2014, 01:01 PM

Malcolm X Day

“I’m the man you think you are. ….If you want to know what I’ll do, figure out what you’ll do. I’ll do the same thing -- only more of it.” -- Malcolm X

Malcolm X was born on this day, in 1925. His life had a significant impact on our country in the 1960s, and it should provide lessons for those of us who want America to live up to its promise and potential.

Hopefully, most DU members have read “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” Carl Sagan said that he believed it was the most important work of American literature. There are numerous other solid books on his life, and books of transcripts of his speeches. Spike Lee produced a powerful movie about Malcolm’s life, which is definitely worth watching.

I first learned of Malcolm some fifty years ago, in the days following Muhammad Ali’s winning the heavyweight championship in a huge upset, when he TKOed Sonny Liston. In 1965, my oldest brother left a TIME magazine open to the page reporting Malcolm’s death; somewhere, I still have that magazine, and the brief note my brother left with it.

I didn’t think much about Malcolm over the next few years, until one day when a high school English teacher recommended that I read his autobiography. I was a “homeless” teen at the time, heading straight for the troubles that homeless teenaged males frequently find. Besides bringing some much appreciated bags of food to class for me, this wonderful teacher wanted to expand my mind.

A few years back, I posted an essay on this forum, using Joseph Campbell’s studies of “the hero’s journey” to describe Malcolm’s life. I believe that he was one of our nation’s most important prophets. I remember back in the late 1970s, when Americans were being held hostage in Iran, when Dick Gregory said that America couldn’t understand Islam, because it had failed to understand Malcolm X.

Later today, I’ll get out my collection of old records of some of Malcolm’s speeches. I have six albums of his speeches; while they make powerful reading, one gets a clearer picture of what a gifted communicator he was by listening to him speak.

Happy birthday, Malcolm X. And thank you for your contribution to the struggle for social justice.

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Reply Malcolm X Day (Original post)
H2O Man May 2014 OP
1StrongBlackMan May 2014 #1
gollygee May 2014 #2
LoisB May 2014 #3
H2O Man May 2014 #4
bobthedrummer May 2014 #5
panader0 May 2014 #6
Mc Mike May 2014 #7
AverageJoe90 May 2014 #8
malaise May 2014 #9
countryjake May 2014 #10

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 01:08 PM

1. Happy Malcolm X Day to you.

 

Also posted to so that I can find the OP later. Thanks.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 01:11 PM

2. I had that book assigned

to read in college. I think for a sociology class.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 01:30 PM

3. Thank you for the post. Pacifica Radio Archives has a 6-cd set of several of

Malcolm's speeches, John Henrik Clarke speaking about Malcolm's contributions and an absolutely fantastic cd of a discussion of the sit-ins by Malcolm, James Baldwin, and someone named Leverne McCummins.

Happy birthday, Malcolm.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 04:48 PM

4. ......

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 05:42 PM

5. K&R#10 n/t

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 07:02 PM

6. I read the autobiography in '68, same year I read 'Soul on Ice' by Eldridge Cleaver, another

important book. I was 17, a freshman at a relatively conservative college, and had a black roommate. It was a very interesting and educational time for me.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 07:15 PM

7. Malcolm was a good man.

And a real threat to the reactionary power structure in the US.

Louis X WAS involved in assassinating him, and his grand son didn't kill Betty Shabazz.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 07:40 PM

8. Malcolm X was a man who was initially quite racist.....but he chose to reform after a stay in Mecca.

 

And then he became a genuine Civil Rights advocate just like MLK had always been. And then just a few months later, TPTB had him killed; because then, due to that one vital change he made, now he was a legitimate threat to them.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 07:44 PM

9. Ditto

Happy Birthday Malcolm.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 08:22 PM

10. A Happy Malcolm X Day to you, H20 Man!



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