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Malcolm X Standing Headshoulders

Source: Bettmann / Getty

On a Sunday afternoon at 3:14 p.m. EST, 59 years ago, Malcolm X–El Hajj Malik El Shabazz-–approached a podium at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, New York2, in the presence of his wife, Sister Betty who was swollen with the two lives inside of her. Alongside her were their four daughters, Qubilah Shabazz, Attallah Shabazz, Gamilah Lumumba Shabazz, Ilyasah Shabazz; and around her were 400 members of Minister Malcolm’s newly founded secular organization, the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Outside the sky was bright and no snow had fallen. The midday temperature on Feb. 21 was 50 degrees, nearly double what it had been just 24 hours before. It was beautiful, no foreboding, except for a gut feeling Malcolm’s close assistant, Brother Benjamin 2X, had. Where was even one of the uniformed NYPD officers who had otherwise always filled the room, imposing, unfriendly? Brother Benjamin 2X introduced his leader with what he knew later was a terrible and accurate prediction: “I now introduce to you a man that would give his life for his people.”

MORE: Malcolm X Assassination Witness Further Implicates The NYPD: ‘An Attempt By Police To Assist’

It was 3:15 p.m. now and Malcolm, from the podium, greeted those who had gathered in the tradition of his religion, Islam: As Salaam Alaikum (peace be unto you). But before the crowd could respond in the tradition, Wa Alaikum As-Salaam, there was a disturbance, a shout: “Ni**er! Get your hand outta my pocket!” After that, there was just the sound of gunfire. Buckshot. Shots from semi-automatics. By the time it ended, Minister Malcolm had been fired upon 21 times. Ten of them hit. At 3:30 p.m. Malcolm X was declared dead.

Since that brutal day when our Black Shining Prince—the honorific bestowed upon the man most commonly referred to as Malcolm X by the late, great Ossie Davis who offered the eulogy–-was publicly executed, our love for him has only grown across the United States and the world. No longer is he simply dismissed as a hate monger as the late, white “liberal” journalist Mike Wallace attempted to do in 1959. A half-century later, various media platforms, from Netflix to the Washington Post, have to tread more lightly and remember to include some measure of truth.

And why? Because we demanded it.

We refused to stop saying his name. We held conferences on campuses to unpack his theories and opinions. We developed college courses dedicated to him, wrote books, shared videos, pushed and continue to push so that the truth finally came out: We love Malcolm because he loved us, as Ossie Davis said, almost intuiting how rare it was, how rare it would be, that there once was a man who walked among us who actually loved us. Loved us without needing us to trend, be the flavor of the week. Loved us in all our beautiful broken parts. Loved us enough to tell the truth. Loved us enough to give his one begotten life for us. El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, Malcolm X. The father of the Black power movement. The father of six precious girls. The husband about whom his wife would say decades on after being asked if she’d ever marry again, “Who could I ever marry after having been married to Malcolm?”

Her reply to the query posed was perhaps less a mocking of the questioner and more a challenge to us who listened to her during that interview. Could we, any of us, be someone worthy of carrying the torch Malcolm X lit? Could any of us commit even to trying? 

Below are select short and rare clips of Minister Malcolm X speaking. We hope they inspire you as they have inspired many of us across the iOne Digital family and NewsOne. 

Malcolm on the media’s role in driving police violence against Black people

Malcolm on the Hypocrisy of American Democracy

Malcolm X on Palestine

Malcolm X on Celebrities

SEE ALSO:

What Was Malcolm X Working On When He Was Assassinated?

Malcolm X’s Most Iconic Speeches

The post Malcolm X In His Own Words: Rare Videos Of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz That Are Still Relevant appeared first on NewsOne.

Malcolm X In His Own Words: Rare Videos Of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz That Are Still Relevant  was originally published on newsone.com