Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thinking about Malcolm X on his birthday

Malcolm X Photo

Listen up. February 21st is the birthday of Tadd Dameron, a great jazz pianist. It's the birthday of the great Nina Simone, whose powerful voice and sensual piano playing transcended any one musical genre (thanks, Christopher). But first and foremost, February 21st is the date that Minister Malcolm X, eulogized by actor Ossie Davis as "Our Shining Black Prince," was murdered. The daddy is re-posting an article he wrote about him for a local newspaper. If you did not read it before, check it out.
Thinking About Malcolm
by Mac Walton, aka, The Daddy

Listen up. The daddy's got a confession to make. Okay, two confessions, both related. First, the daddy is feeling lazy. He doesn't want to do anything in particular. Second, he only wants to sit on his living-room couch and think about Malcolm X, the man who was called Minister Malcolm by some back in the day, the man I still call Minister Malcolm now.

No, the daddy never met him. Never got to see him, But, as a kid, the daddy belonged to the religious sect that he made into a powerful national force in the United States, The Nation of Islam. It was an institution with which to be reckoned n the 1960's.

No, the daddy was no leader in the group. In fact, the daddy was kicked out of the group for reading Minister Malcolm's book, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X." You see, the daddy was a kid and didn't know about this war going on inside the Nation of Islam between the brothers and sisters who were loyal to late Honorable Elijah Muhammad and those who were loyal to Minister Malcolm, even though Minister Malcolm was dead by that time. But after finishing the book, after speaking to present and former members from both sides, the daddy lost faith in the leadership of The Nation of Islam, never asked to be reinstated, and left the organization for good.

Why? Because brothers and sister told him something that he could not ignore or wish away: that Minister Malcolm was too honest, too committed to black people, and too disappointed in the immoral behavior of the late Honorable Elijah Muhammad, his mentor and substitute father, to keep his mouth shut about the corruption and immorality going on at the top levels of the Nation of Islam at that time-- that Minister Malcolm had to die, because he was too dedicated and knew too much. I left, because I believed them.

And that's why the daddy is being lazy today, sitting here thinking about Minister Malcolm: about the courage it takes to go against your own people, your own organization, your own disciples (whom you groomed to be leaders, whom you knew would order that you be killed) and, worst of all, your own mentor who, in effect, was your father. But, ultimately, the daddy is thinking about something even more important than political betrayal; he's thinking about the potency of legacy.

He's thinking that to kill a great leader can be an oppressor's worst mistake. Why? Because the great leader becomes a martyr and is elevated to even greater heights. The leader's spirit floats into the air and hovers above the heads of the oppressed and, when the time is right, shimmers down like golden sun rays on a clear, summer's day. That's martyrs become more valuable in death than in life. That's when, ironically, martyrs take on new lives and live within the hearts of people for generations.

That's why he's sitting here thinking about some things that Minister Malcolm said in the 1960's that still resonates with him today:

* That "
education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it;"

* That
"The political philosophy of black nationalism means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community;"

* That "The economic philosophy of black nationalism only means that our people need to re-educated into the importance of controlling the economy of the community in which they live;"

* That
"Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods or tactics or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free human in this society;" and

* That
"Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression."

The daddy is feeling nice and warm sitting on his couch by the fireplace. But he thinks he'll take a walk outside in the cold. Maybe he'll look up in the sky and think about Malcolm.


Anonymous said...

So good I reed it twice.kill
one Malcolm, three more will
be born.

Verna Monson said...

Daddy, Minister Malcolm's remarks about education have me thinking today. Although I wholeheartedly agree that it is a passport to improving one's life and possibilities, I would like to comment that the concept of education has drifted in the last few decades. College, and a few graduate degrees, have come to mean more about "credentialing," than education. That is, many fields have become more and more narrow in the knowledge and skills they impart -- and with that, we drift farther from the meaning of education as Malcolm has used it and how it is defined traditionally. Look at the vast difference in how Obama thinks, compared to Bush -- not that I want to indict the MBA degree as anti-intellectual and shallow, indeed, there are many lawyers who unlike Obama, whose purpose is to litigate in any and all possible situations.

I just think it's helpful to try to understand how these common words / concepts come to have really two different meanings as time passes . . .

Enjoy that spot in front of the fire . . .

MacDaddy said...

Anon: Thanks.

Verna:Welcome again. I always appreciate your perspective. And, yes, Malcolm wasn't talking about "credentialing" but about increased awareness of blacks, or Americans, in relation to their government and the world. School in the U.S. is about building a resume for a job, and not developing one's ability analyze, to know who they are in relation to the rest of the world or, for that matter, who they are.That's one reason I loved Malcolm so much. He knew he was and acted accordingly.

libhom said...

Religion has a corrupting influence on people, regardless of the race, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity of the people involved.

Anonymous said...

daddy, I just saw the movie on Malcolm X, you know the one directed by Spike Lee. I cried. I can see why he's your favorite. Too honest.

Jay said...

Dr. King Deserves Better in Charlotte, NC!