On February 21, 1965 this beautiful man was shot down in a ballroom. 53 years later, we still feel the ripples of his words and actions.

Malcolm was an orator, an organizer, a man of the masses. He was a self made intellectual, schooled on the streets and stayed on the streets to lead and inspire others to believe in themselves, instill some pride and self-respect.

He was a man who wasn’t stuck. He wasn’t stuck in his own time, or in his own ideology or in his own beliefs or ways of thinking. He was willing, not only to confront and challenge others – but also himself (particularly previous versions of himself).

His legacy will forever live on.

In the words of Ossie Davis:
”It is not in the memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate, but nonetheless proud community has found a braver, more gallant young champion than this Afro-American who lies before us – unconquered still. I say the word again, as he would want me to : Afro-American – Afro-American Malcolm, who was a master, was most meticulous in his use of words. Nobody knew better than he the power words have over minds of men. Malcolm had stopped being a ‘Negro’ years ago. It had become too small, too puny, too weak a word for him. Malcolm was bigger than that.

…Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood! This was his meaning to his people. And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves.

…Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more now a man – but a seed – which, after the winter of our discontent, will come forth again to meet us. And we will know him then for what he was and is – a Prince – our own black shining Prince! – who didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so.”

If you haven’t read his biography, and if there’s one book that you must read this week, this month, this year – let it be that one. Here are some excerpts:

And some excerpts from the Spike Lee documentary played by Denzel:

Rest in power, peace and paradise X.

You’re forever loved.


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