Today, May 19 marks the 91st birthday of Malcolm X, one of the most preeminent and influential leader in the struggle for human rights, justice and freedom in the United States. Born Malcolm Little in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm X later changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. To celebrate his legacy, we remember Malcolm X through quotes from various people about his beliefs, which helps to understand what he stood, fought and died for.
Malcolm X dedicated his life to fighting racism, exploitation and injustices and went on to become one of the most significant leaders in the struggle for racial equality for African Americans.
During his lifetime, he played a critical role in educating African Americans on racial equality, Black pride and on their African heritage and also advanced the Pan-Africanism ideology in his teachings.
While he’s known and understood by some people across the world as a controversial and divisive figure based on some his teachings, advocating for the use of violence to confront the racist, unjust and unequal system, Malcolm X’s work as a civil rights leader and activist still inspire many.
To celebrate his legacy, we remember Malcolm X through quotes from various people about his beliefs, which help to understand what he stood, fought and died for.
1. “…I always had a deep affection for Malcolm and felt that he had a great ability to put his finger on the existence and the root of the problem. He was an eloquent spokesman for his point of view and no one can honestly doubt that Malcolm had a great concern for the problems we face as a race.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a telegram to Betty Shabazz after the murder of Malcolm X.
2. “This was a brother you could believe. There was the sense that he was not in it for something. That was the extraordinary thing about him. He was in it because of his commitment to our liberation.”
James Turner, Founding Director Of Africana Studies at Cornell University
3. “If a man like Malcolm X could change and repudiate racism, if I myself and other former Muslims can change, if young whites can change, then there is hope for America”.
Eldridge Cleaver, as quoted in Soul on Ice (1968), Part II: “The White Race and Its Heroes”.
4. “Malcolm X, for one, was very critical of the U.S. government’s international meddling, particularly in Africa, as well as its social and governmental hypocrisy when confronted with the plight of American blacks…”.
Jonathan Blanks, “Why Aren’t There More Black Libertarians?” (23 May 2014), Libertarianism.
5. “Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood! This was his meaning to his people. And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves… However we may have differed with him — or with each other about him and his value as a man — let his going from us serve only to bring us together, now”.
Ossie Davis, eulogy delivered at the funeral of Malcolm X Harlem, New York, 27 February 1965.
Source: This is Africa