Today marks the 45th Anniversary of the assassination of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, better known as Malcolm X. He was shot on a Sunday in 1965 just before he was to give a speech at a rally in New York City. He is unarguably one of the most known and influential figures in African-American history because of his fearless dedication to bringing the issues of racism to the forefront, but is he still relevant today?
Pye Ian, a corporate strategic planning consultant and blogger for the “Huffington Post” suggests he is.
This Sunday, February 21st marks another anniversary of the assassination of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, or Malcolm X, who died on a Sunday 45 years ago. This May 19th would’ve been his 85th birthday. As someone who admires him, studied him, and has been influenced by his curiosity and courage, I wish to remind readers of a few core reasons why he remains a perpetually important historical figure, especially for young people.
For a while in the early ’90s, Malcolm X re-entered the public’s consciousness for the first time since the early 1960s. Inspired musicians sampled his speeches, historical documentaries on his life sprouted on PBS, school curricula started formally including his autobiography, a major motion picture based on said book garnered Denzel Washington a Best Actor Academy Award nomination, clothing items featured the ubiquitous “X” in suburban malls, urban boulevards donned his name, and even a national postage stamp was dedicated to him (thereby challenging — at least on a surface level — Chuck D’s famous lyrics).
Such commemorations were in part triggered by events that begged tireless questions regarding race relations and our domestic state of human rights. These included the Rodney King beating and flawed police trial of ’91/’92, subsequent LA riots, and the fall-out from a Bush (41) recession that, once again, disproportionately took its economic toll on persons of color in America (sound familiar?).
Read more of Ian’s post and watch the videos below.
Malcolm X’s Widow Betty Shabazz Discusses His Assassination on CBS News 45 Years Ago
Malcolm X: If Someone Puts A Dog On You, Kill That Dog