Happy Birthday, Malcolm X!
The BlackQuaker Project is deeply proud to honor the indelible legacy of Malcolm X, born 19 May 1925. He is a figure of great personal importance to Hal Weaver, who, in his own words, describes Malcom X as having inspired an enduring sense of self-confidence and heritage among African Americans:
“Malcolm X was extremely important to young African Americans arriving in New York City in the late 1950s and early 1960s, from our Euro-centric colleges. He inserted Africa into our identity by coining the term “Afro-American”. Generally misunderstood and distorted by the Establishment media (except M.S. Handler, eminent New York Times journalist), Malcolm provided pride to African Americans. Whenever I later met—all over the world--African cultural, political, and diplomatic leaders, whom earlier I had had the pleasure of guiding around New York City, they inevitably mentioned my introducing them to Malcolm at the Muslim restaurant in Harlem as the highlight of their sojourns in New York. It is important to note Malcom’s sincere intention to collaborate with Martin Luther King in efforts at human liberation before Malcom’s untimely death. It is not by chance, I strongly believe, that both Minister Malcolm and Doctor King were assassinated because they internationalized the African American freedom movement.”
Malcolm X’s efforts to raise the self esteem of Americans of African descent and to encourage self-love became common language adopted by all Black-liberation struggles and leaders throughout the USA, including Dr. Martin Luther King, who began to preach a more explicit mantra of Black Pride shortly before his death.
As a Pan-Africanist, Malcom X’s conversion to Sunni Islam, Hajj to Mecca, and subsequent travels throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Africa all had a profound effect on the international Muslim and African communities. In his final years, he met with pivotal African leaders Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Jomo Kenyatta, and Julius Nyerere; spoke at the Nigerian Muslim Student Association at the University of Ibadan (who gave him the honorary Yoruba title Omowale, meaning "the son who has come home"); and founded both the Muslim Mosque Inc. and the Organization for Afro-American Unity. Despite Malcolm’s tragic assassination in 1965, the enormous steps he took towards global solidarity among international communities of color and all human beings will be remembered. We would like to recognize El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcom X) for his legendary contributions in the struggle for human liberation and hold him in the Light.