On this day in 1965, we lost a civil rights pioneer, a self-reformed man and an educated individual who wanted to spread the word of love amongst all although it didn’t begin that way.
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska to a preaching, dark skinned father and the daughter of a Grenadian slaveholder (white) and former slave in 1925. When he was roughly three, the family relocated to Lansing, Mich. after locals threatened his father.
In Michigan, his father, who already had three children from a previous relationship, was killed. The city of Mason ruled his death a suicide. However these questions were raised. How can a man beat himself half to death and then walk to a train track to be rolled over by a train. And unfortunately, he lived in that condition for three hours before passing. Malcolm’s mother, who could pass for white because of her mixed ancestry, already had five little ones at home at the time of his death and slowly began losing her mind.
After his mother was committed to an institution, Malcolm stayed with several foster homes. But the rebel that was he wouldn’t allow for him to stay with one family for long. He never finished high school and moved to Boston to live with his older sister, Ella.
*NOTE THIS, Elijah Muhammad was in prison in Milan. For those of you from Michigan… and particularly you from Ypsilanti Township, if you’ve ever ridden down either Bemis or Willis road heading toward Saline, yeah…. history in the making*
I digress. Young Malcolm ran into all types of people in the Bosotn area and began running numbers and getting into the crime that most young, hungry, teenage boys do at that time. As he got a little older, he moved out of his sister’s house and relocated to NYC. There he met all types of now-famous people. Redd Foxx, The Duke, Ella Fitzgerald, and so on.
But on one faithful day, a crime game he went to play, running around the city with his boy Shorty and two white girls, they committed a crime. The girls snitched and the men got the book thrown at them.
You all know about his time in prison about how he taught himself to read using a dictionary. How he met up with Elijah Muhammad and started spreading Elijah Muhammad propaganda and “the white devil.” We ALL know about the infamous, no words, finger point which led to a chief of police saying “No one man should have all that power.” You even know that he and Muhammad Ali (His mama named him Clay, I’ma call him Clay) were very good friends. And you know he was for “By any means necessary.”
But did you know that the Nation silenced/exiled him. Ali even turned his back on him. Farrakhan, the one that he trained, disgraced him. So he grew up quick. He made the pilgrimage—-Hajj (real Muslims and people from the Middle East know what it is) to Mecca. He said he saw brothers and sisters of all colors, blonde hair blue eyes, joining dark skinned, brown eyed people in prayer and worship of Allah (God.)
As he went to speak in Brooklyn, he was gunned down by members of the Nation, this day almost 50 years ago.