Malcolm X’s 86th Birthday
Mmhmm, I know. Yesterday was his birthday, the 19th. Today’s the 20th. Sadly by the time I realized that yesterday was Malcolm’s birthday, it was too late to do a post. Instead I decided to postpone it to today, because regardless…Malcolm is worth it.
It’s amazing how controversial Malcolm X remains, even today, 46 years after he was gunned down by members of the Nation of Islam just three months before his 40th birthday. Case in point: there was no Google Doodle to commemorate his birthday yesterday, although Google makes sure to craft a doodle for Martin Luther King, Jr. day every single year. But it’s not my goal to get into the age old Malcolm v. Martin debate. (Although I have done that on this blog before). Both have their places in history.
malcolm during his pilgrammage
How controversial Malcolm is directly reflects how relevant he’s been to the lives of so many people for the past 60 years. Despite the fact that he’s been demonized by much of mainstream media, the effect he’s had on the individuals that helped shaped the face of this nation, and planet, is indelible. Alex Haley (who helped him write his autobiography), Muhammad Ali, Huey Newton (who would found the Black Panthers), and so many other historical figures owe Malcolm X some part of their legacy.
malcolm x with muhammad ali
Just as he inspired the generations before us, Malcolm continues to remain important to our peers. From Talib Kweli and Mos Def to MeLo-X and Phillip Annand. I suppose the entire point of this post is to pay tribute to one of the most important figures of the 20th century, and one of my personal heroes. I’ve already read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, but I put it on my summer reading list anyway because I plan to re-read it. It’s one of the most important texts I’ve ever read.
Happy 86th birthday Malcolm. Your legacy lives on.
Sidenote: I still need to watch Spike Lee’s biopic Malcolm X, especially since I’m trying to work my way through Lee’s entire catalog.