"Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today."
I am not Malcolm X. But born six days and almost six decades later and daughter to the phenomenal woman born one day and 2+ decades later, I'd like to think we are close. Stars never lie.
Malcolm Little touched down on earth the spring of 1925. Keeping with the blood red times, his birthplace, Omaha, Nebraska, turned a cold shoulder to the black boy eventually turning Malcolm's blacker baptist preaching father's hot blood way below zero. I imagine after shelving the unnecessary cooling board, they laid his tattered body six feet deep. Mother Louise's blood continued to pump but her faculties having evaluated her circumstances soon felt it best to cease operations.
"I am neither a fanatic nor a dreamer. I am a black man who loves peace, and justice, and loves his people."
Although mother and father Little left Malcolm at a young age, the broadnosed redbone proved big before puberty ushered in his formidable adult stature. Fearing only God and not of humankind Malcolm was a big time hustler, a brilliant numbers runner, a fire-starting minister, a global revolutionary, and a changing man.
Authentic Malcolm took stands. Humble Malcolm took instruction. Principled Malcolm questioned authority. Malcolm did not play positions. He allowed his orientation towards them to change as his knowledge and wisdom grew. Tethered to righteousness he strived towards freedom like fellow freedom fighter Martin but in his strive he changed.
"...I shall never rest until I have undone the harm I did to so many well-meaning, innocent Negroes who through my own evangelistic zeal now believe in him even more fanatically and more blindly than I did."
(On those he encouraged to follow Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad)
Mortal and inherently imperfect our lives are characterized by infinite possibility: the gift OR the curse. Jailtime conversion to Islam, career stalling break from Elijah Muhammad, The Hajj all demonstrate Malcolm's respect for the process in the face of ego and consistency's seduction. His life was a gift we can pattern ours after.
"I am not a racist. I am against every form of racism and segregation, every form of discrimination. I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color."
On this day in 1965 Malcolm made his transition from flesh and blood to disembodied spirit. Ashe.