What Malcolm Means To Me

Malcolm X would have been 88 years old yesterday.
The past few years his name has been in quite a few headlines. From the recent passing of his grandson to the controversial book authored by Manning Mannable, history cannot forget Malcolm X. And it should not.

Many people have tried to define the legacy of Malcolm X. I am not up to that task. I simply wish to define what X has meant to me.

The characteristics that made Dr. King one of my favorite figures in history are the same characteristics that drew me to Malcolm X. What was at the forefront of his movement was the understanding that the world, as it was, was not the world intended by God. Also, he understood that only through God could we begin to transform ourselves and eventually the world.
Studying Malcolm X led to me gaining an understanding and an appreciation for my culture and heritage. For many others Malcolm X defined what it meant to be a Black man. X was also incredibly disciplined. This was actually a key aspect of the Black Muslim movement. Members of the Nation of Islam were polite, wore suits, abstained from drugs and alcohol, did not swear, broke no laws, worked hard, and were encouraged to marry and have children. All of these values were taught to me by my father and leaders in my church which made it easy to identify with X.

Had he not been assassinated the world would probably be an entirely different place. However, I do not like to deal in “what if’s.” It is best to reflect on the life of such a great person so that we can grow individually.

I reflect on the life of Malcolm X and seek to become as selfless as he was. Malcolm never sought to build himself up, rather in the words of Earl Hutchinson, “the quest for justice and true equality, and the restoration of pride in the history and heritage of African-Americans was the ultimate reward for him.”

Malcolm X died in the struggle to create a better world. Jesus is quoted in John 15:13 as saying, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This is the mark of a true disciple: to love others with the same love that God displayed. Ultimate sacrifice through selflessness is the sign of an individual that understands an important part of the message of the gospel.

Malcolm X will continue to make headlines for years to come. History cannot forget Malcolm X because history cannot afford to forget Malcolm X. Not when his words still ring true: 
“And in my opinion the young generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change. People in power have misused it, and now there has to be change and a better world has to be built, and the only way it’s going to be built is with extreme methods. I for one will join in with anyone, I don’t care what color you are, as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.”
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


Post a Comment