More importantly, I learned what it meant to have a strong inner determination and character to rise above your surroundings and your situation to truly do wonderful things for your family, your community, your nation and our world. In my view, Martin Luther King, Jr would never have been as effective if there had not been a Malcolm X.
I encourage all Villagers to take time and remind yourself about the impact that this one man had on our life and times. Ossie Davis gave a 2-1/2 minute eulogy of Malcolm X that is some of the most powerful words ever uttered about the essence of the man. Here is part of it:
"There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honour in this stormy, controversial and bold young Captain - and we will smile. Many will say turn away - away from this man, for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the Black man - and we will smile. They will say that he is of hate - a fanatic, a racist - who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! And we will answer and say to them:You can hear the words from Ossie himself on this YouTube clip:
'Did you ever talk to brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did - you would know him. And if you knew him - you would know why we must honor him.'Malcolm was our manhood ... our living Black manhood!"
And we will know him than for what he was and is - A Prince - our own Black Shining Prince - who didn't hesitate to die, because he loved us so.
Villagers, what is your memory of Malcolm X? How did you first learn about this brother?