Op-EdOpinion

BAILEY: Celebrate Bro. Malcolm X’s Birthday with Positive Action

In the introduction of my upcoming book, “Brother Malcolm X’s Visionary, Strategic Pan Africanism: Why It Enraged the U.S. Government,” I salute him as a great human being, a great Black man and a master teacher. The following quotes from some of his speeches and writings will show why the most positive and productive way to celebrate his May 19 birthday is to be involved in positive action.

The first quote says, “The adult Afro-American community should immediately get together and set up a guardian system so that any Black child in trouble or who has a problem can come to them for help. If any more Afro-American children are shot down in the New York City streets, the adults will have to share the blame.”

The second quote says, “We must establish all over the country schools of our own to train our children to become scientists and mathematicians. We must realize the need for adult education and for job retraining programs that will emphasize a changing society in which automation plays the key role. We intend to use the tools of education to help raise our people to an unprecedented level of excellence and self-respect through their own efforts.”

In remarks to 37 Black young people who were visiting him in Harlem, he said the following:

“I was approached, I think we were at the United Nations, and I met Mrs. Walker about two or three years ago, and she said that a group of students were coming up from McComb, Mississippi, and wanted to know if I would meet with you and speak with you. I told her frankly that it would be the greatest honor that I had ever experienced … It’s been my great desire to either go there or meet someone from there.”

He then moved on to talk about intense white supremacy in their state: “In studying the process of this so-called progress during the past 20 years, we of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), realized that the only time the Black man in this country is given any kind of recognition or even listened to is when America is afraid of outside pressure or when she’s afraid of her image abroad. So we saw that it was necessary to expand the problem and the struggle of the Black man in this country until it was above and beyond the jurisdiction of the United States. … I wanted to point this out to you because it is important for you to know that when you are in Mississippi, you are not alone.”

A recent quote I found by Bro. Malcolm is also something that should be a guideline for action: “If your mind is armed, you are never unarmed.”

I repeat, the Brother was a great human being, a great Black man and a master teacher.

Bailey, author of “Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, the Master Teacher,” can be reached alfonzop.bailey@gmail.com.

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