My three children (ages 18, 14, 11) don't know very much about Malcolm X. There will come a time when I share this book with them as well. The messages that Malcolm taught us back in the day still need to be shared today in the 21st century.
As such, the Electronic Village is honored to recognize this heroic figure on the weekend of what would have been his 86th birthday. The legacy of Malcolm X has moved through generations as the subject of numerous documentaries, books and movies. I imagine that there was a surge of interest in 1992 when director Spike Lee released the acclaimed Malcolm X movie. The film received Oscar nominations for Best Actor (Denzel Washington) and Best Costume Design. Most people recall the hospital scene in that movie.
However, it is often best to hear directly from Malcolm. Here are some YouTube clips of Malcolm that I thought you would enjoy:
- Who Are You? - A few simple questions that we are still asking today.
- An Early Interview with Malcolm X by Mike Wallace, where Malcolm explains the position of the Nation of Islam.
- You're Ready to do Something, Aren't You?" - "...many of you thought that we should go right on out then and make war on the white man. You wanted to do it yourself, didn't you? Cause you don't like the idea of white people shooting Black people down, do you? And you're ready to do something about it, aren't you?"
- The White Man Brings Drugs into Harlem - "Stealing runs rampant in Harlem. Gambling runs rampant in Harlem. All types of evils and vices that tear apart our community run rampant in Harlem. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad doesn't condemn the victim, he goes to work on the victim."
- The Problem is Still Here - is speech where Malcolm rejects the non-violent approach of Martin Luther King,
- Who Taught You to Hate Yourself? - "Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet?"
- We are Africans, Not Americans - "Our forefathers weren't the Pilgrims. We didn't land on Plymouth Rock; the rock was landed on us."
- The Black Man's History - Malcolm X explains how the true history of Black people was erased during slavery and because Black people do not know their own past, thye have no confidence in themselves.
- House Negroes vs. Field Negroes - "Back during slavery, when Black people like me talked to the slaves, they didn't kill 'em, they sent some old house Negro along behind him to undo what he said."
- Our History was Destroyed by Slavery - Malcolm X appears on television in Chicago on March 17, 1963.
- You Will Never Get Protection from the Government - "You never will get protection from the federal government. That's like, King is asking Kennedy to go to Alabama to stand in the doorway, put his body in the doorway. That's like asking the fox to protect you from the wolf. "
- Roundtable Discussion - In a clip from a roundtable discussion, Malcolm X explains why the bourgeois, hand-picked Uncle Tom negro leaders will never solve the problem for the masses of black people.
- Malcolm X Explains Black Nationalism - "If you're interested in freedom, you need some judo, you need some karate--you need all the things that will help you fight for freedom...They can give us the back pay. Let's join in. If this is what the negro wants, let's join him. Let's show him how to struggle, let's show him how to fight. Let's show him how to bring about a real revolution. You don't need a debate. You don't need a filibuster. You need some action."
- Oxford University Debate - "I read once, passingly, about a man named Shakespeare. I only read about him passingly, but I remember one thing he wrote that kind of moved me. He put it in the mouth of Hamlet, I think, it was, who said, "To be or not to be." He was in doubt about something. Whether it was nobler in the mind of man to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, moderation, or to take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. And I go for that. If you take up arms, you'll end it, but if you sit around and wait for the one who's in power to make up his mind that he should end it, you'll be waiting a long time. 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 a change and a better world has to be built and the only way it's going to be built is with extreme methods. And 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."
- Ballot or the Bullet was a speech by Malcolm X mostly about black nationalism delivered April 12, 1964 in Detroit, Michigan.
- By Any Means Necessary - "...our African brothers have gained their independence faster than you and I here in America have. They've also gained recognition and respect as human beings much faster than you and I."
- Return from Mecca (1 of 2) - "When I was on the pilgrimage, I had close contact with Muslims whose skin would in America be classified as white and with Muslims who would themselves be classified as white in America, but these particular Muslims didn't call themselves white. They looked upon themselves as human beings, as part of the human family and therefore they looked upon all other segments of the human family as part of that same family."
- Return from Mecca (2 of 2) - "African nations and Asian nations and Latin American nations look very hypocritical when they stand up in the United Nations, condemning the racist practices of South Africa and that which is practiced by Portugal and Angola, and saying nothing in the U.N. about the racist practices that are manifest every day against Negroes in this society."
- American Can't Solve Our Problem" - Malcolm X explains that it is necessary to take the problem of African-Americans to the world court in order to get them solved.
- 'I am probably a dead man already' - In an interview shortly before he was killed, Malcolm X declared, "I probably am a dead man already." He was aware of the fact that the NOI wanted him dead and understood that he was in serious danger.
- My Death Has Been Ordered - Malcolm X puts the blame for the firebombing of his home directly on the Nation of Islam and explains other ways in which his life is in danger.
- The assassination of Malcolm X - Silent clip of the Audobon Ballroom immediately after the assassination of Malcolm X on February 21, 1965.
- Mos Def Reads Malcolm X - Hip hop, rap and spoken word artist Mos Def reads Malcolm X's "Message to the Grass Roots" on November 9, 2006.