Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Man for All Seasons: Malcolm X

I recently watched Malcolm X. At the end of the movie, there are real images and videos of the real Malcolm X. There was something surreal about him and his life. I was so moved when I saw the movie and while I write this piece, I continue to think about him. Equally impressive was Malcolm's portrayal by Denzel Washington in the movie.

Malcolm X's life was no less than a Hollywood movie; no wonder it was made into a Hollywood movie. Born on 19th of May 1925, Malcolm Little bounced from one foster home to another and soon was involved in a series of different crimes as he grew into a young man. Malcolm Little later became the influential El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Arabic: الحاجّ مالك الشباز‎).
He was a gifted and lucid speaker which is a reason why so many people connected with him. He became a follower of the Nation of Islam whilst in jail. He continued to represent the Nation of Islam for a decade even after his release from prison. But tensions grew between Malcolm and Elijah Mohammad, the leader of Nation of Islam. These tensions were a result of the double life lead by Elijah Mohammad. When Malcolm investigated and finally confronted an unapologetic Elijah Mohammad, he immediately withdrew his support and publicly announced his decision of withdrawal and reservations over the Nation of Islam. To explore, straighten and strengthen his belief of the religion Islam, he travelled to Middle East and then Mecca for pilgrimage; Hajj. His revelations about Islam and the effects it had on him was beautifully written in his letters to his wife Betty Shabazz.

One cannot ignore his journey and achievements. He founded Muslim Mosque, Inc a religious organization, and the secular Organization of Afro-American Unity, which advocated Pan-Africanism. Once he revealed the true teachings of Islam, he became an avowed enemy of Elijah Mohammad and the Nation of Islam who eventually succeeded in killing him.

He did not have a twisted psyche as some claim. He was not wicked nor did he preach hate. He looked for an identity and a voice for the Black during a time when the Black were oppressed. His tragedy is, he was misled; by the false message and teachings of the Nation of Islam. Once he spotted the dual message and practises of its leader Elijah, he re-thought his own role and quickly disassociated himself with the whole ideology, and re-invented a message, identity and voice for the Black for a brief moment, as his life was cut short; a heavy price he paid with his own life. Had his life not been cut short, he may have changed the course of history. I cannot forget that charismatic personality and beautiful, heart captivating smile of Malcolm X as shown in the clips after the movie. There was something ethereal about him; he had magic, charisma, grace and a wonderful personality.

It is verily true that special people, ones that are loved and held dear to our hearts, are the ones that are plucked early. We know their worth once they are gone. His assassination was cruel; he may be gone physically but the legend of Malcolm X continues to live...May he rest in peace and be rewarded with eternal bliss. Amen

If you haven't watched the movie 'Malcolm X', watch it and you will be inspired like I was!!

Source: Wikipedia and Malcolm X (the movie)

1 comment:

  1. Also, and this must be said, Malcom X had a great smile. Beautiful.
    June 3, 2011 1:48 PM