Sunday, May 20, 2007

Malcolm X

I couldn't let this day end without acknowledging that it is Malcolm X's birthday. And while I would love to do some hellified tribute to his truth, I think it would be more to the point to just go ahead and give you an opportunity to hear an example of how he himself laid it out there. "The Ballot or the Bullet" is one of my favorite speeches by Malcolm X. Here is one version in print and a slightly different version to which you can actually listen. May we be appropriately thoughtful as we honor his memory this day by considering what he was saying about a situation that has improved so very little - in reality - since he said it.


Another Conflict Theorist said...

Thanks for this.

Too often Malcolm gets overlooked because of his initial ties to the Nation of Islam. He was a fantastic thinker.

Congratulations on the Ending of the Semester!

Audio Addict said...

Thank you for this, very much.


Writer on Board said...

Hello again, Change. Good post. Me? I saw a bad WWI play that day and hung out with friends in Harlem. Oh, there was arguing and yelling and forgiveness and hand shakes and hugs. I thought a fight was gonna break out. No fights. Everybody agreed to disagree. Malcolm. Complicated. There are so many Malcolms. I had a soft spot for him and was reading him before Spike did his Malcolm X movie. Malcolm looked just like my dad so the feeling was totally emotional and then intellectual. I was disgusted by a lot of what Malcolm said and it just looked like more hate to me and then I saw (after reading everything I could find out about Malcolm) that his story is the story of a man trying to do the right thing when everything is so wrong. He was a searcher. I was surprised to read that he loved Opera. (I love Opera.) And he grew to believe that white and black could live together and pray together (The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Hailey). And that's when they killed him. He was a man of possibility who was not allowed to reach beyond a certain point because white against black is old news and useful to the status quo and white and black united is dangerous...Malcolm.

Professor Zero said...

"He was a fantastic thinker."

Yes - had incisive analysis.

Changeseeker said...

You're very welcome, ACT and Audio Addict. My poor daughter is very tired, I'm sure, (at 25 years old) of hearing me say that if she'd been a boy, she'd have been named Malcolm. But it's true.

Writer: "...white against black is old news and useful to the status quo...white and black united is dangerous..."

Apparently. Apparently. See my new post.

PZ: I wonder what all was going on in his head that he couldn't even say?