It’s time to give Malcolm X his own official holiday

justice

Before he became the face of the radical justice movement in the 1960s, a global representation of civil and human rights, and one of the most influential Black men to ever exist, all he wanted was justice. Justice for families. Justice for communities.

Every Black History Month, we are force-fed the same scripted stories. Harriet Tubman. Rosa Parks. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In doing so, we’ve virtually erased the magnificent history of our ancestors from the dawn of existence.

Other stories

Homework reports about Bobby Seale, Nat Turner, Dr Khalid Muhammad, stories of the Haitian Revolution and even Black Wall Street, are all but a myth at this point. When racism has slowly crept back into the status quo, it’s time for this nation to honor the world’s greatest revolutionary mind. That leader is Malcolm X, and it’s time to put some respect on his name.

Born May 19, 1925, Malcolm Little was raised by his parents Earl and Louise and his six siblings in Omaha, Nebraska. His preacher-father was a member of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association movement and was helping prepare a mass exodus to Africa.

Due to his activism, the family was often harassed and taunted. Malcolm recalls his family home being burned down while the fire chief looked on and laughed. At age six, he found his father’s cold dead body after an attack he believed was carried out by the same group who caused the fire. The impending stress led his mother to a mental and physical breakdown causing Malcolm and his siblings to be split and placed into foster care. This shaped his mind and psyche so much to the point where fear was non-existent.

Another path

With the rise of Black Lives Matter, Make America Great Again culture and police-related deaths in our communities, it is time to finally embrace an alternative path to the Black experience. Whereas the celebrated MLK approach of non-violence and the idea of “loving your earthly master as you would Christ” (Ephesians 6:5) was supported by government officials, Malcolm preached a religious doctrine of justifiable self-defense. He said his God would have no problem with him defending himself.

He spoke about economic empowerment and restructuring and protecting Black communities through racial separation. Making Black dollars circulate in the community without outside influence was a move that would have seen Black-owned Fortune 500 companies right now. He openly rejected racial integration. However, many of Malcolm’s public critics, including Dr. King, believed that peaceful non-violent integration was the way Blacks could prosper and live in America.

In an era where Trayvon Martin was gunned down while holding candy, or Mike Brown’s cold dead body lay on hot asphalt for hours, it’s time to ditch the norm and defend our communities. “When you’re bitten by a snake you don’t look for a snake with blood on its teeth; any snake will do.”

I truly believe Malcolm would have called for pure retaliatory justice against George Zimmerman, Darren Wilson, and even the local Daytona Beach Police Department officer who killed Shakyri Willis, a mental health patient, on August 22, 2017. I believe Malcolm would’ve been the first Black president due to his insane influence.

Community development, economic empowerment, justice against racial/police brutality and educational advancement were the most important values of Malcolm X’s legacy. But like all great minds, it sometimes takes being a martyr to truly push a movement forward.

Killed in New York

On February 21, 1965, Mr. X was gunned down in Manhattan. For decades, it’s been rumored that the Nation Of Islam killed him for speaking against the organization’s leader, Elijah Muhammad. Other conspiracy theorists say he was about to take America to United Nations World Court for genocide and hate crimes a week before he was killed.

An icon of strength, justice and freedom, his vision is celebrated in California, Illinois, Nebraska, New York and 15 other states by public events and community celebrations. It’s time for America to officially celebrate El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, because without justice there is no freedom. We hold this to be self-evident, by any means necessary!


Rell Black is an award-winning activist, blogger and the founder of Community Healing Project Inc. 

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