Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Malcolm!

For me, this book here both defined and saved my life. It was the early 80s and Sean Combs had just made a name for himself when a jam he threw on my college campus ended with people getting trampled on and killed. Crack had also made its mark big time and I remember how zombies from 'Dawn of the dead' were practically being re-enacted. Gentrification had't yet dropped in my Harlem (it's not mine anymore) so africentricity was still the trend. Matterfact, if you weren't conscious you were the minority. Of course, now it's flipped the other way around. But at the time it was still cool to carry a book with you. And 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' was my bible. It was the first time anyone spoke to me in such a direct and meaningful manner; meaningful to me and my plight as a young urban African American male. He said things middle class Blacks were either too afraid or too pompous to say. And the manner in which he carried himself in documentaries gave me a clearer, more appealing idea of what a proud Black man is supposed to look and act like. In essence, I became a man because of Bro. Malcolm. This whole sexuality debate over Marable's book is pointless to me. Malcolm was so much bigger than that. And if he were still alive today He'd probably smile that grin of his and say, Well I done told y'all I seen some sht. WTF?!?!...Happy Birthday, Malcolm. And thank you for teaching us to stand up for ourselves, have decency in how we present ourselves to one another and the world!

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