During the 1980s and early 1990s, the life story of Malcolm X’s, experience a revival among African Americans.
He is still called Malcolm X by many people; despite his name being changed to El Hajj Malik El Shabazz during his lifetime.
I believe the reason for the revival was because of the many popular Hip-Hop artists at that time, were rapping about Malcolm X.
All across America, many people could be seen wearing T-Shirts with pictures of Malcolm.
However, many of the people wearing these shirts knew absolutely nothing about Malcolm X.
They saw Malcolm as a revolutionary symbol like Che Guevara.
Because of this rising popularity for Malcolm a movie was made by Spike Lee called Malcolm X.
Unfortunately, in my opinion it was not a very good movie.
Denzil Washington’s performance was outstanding; but the movie script was horrible.
It had so many fabrications and made up characters; that to those of us who truly loved Malcolm; the movie was a disappointment.
After the excitement over the movie had died down; so did the revival and interest in Malcolm X.
Many of our people lost interest in Malcolm X’s story.
It was like the movie was such a great achievement in being made; that the passion to really get to know Malcolm was gone.
The movie did not emphasize the miraculous transformation of Malcolm Little into Malcolm X.
His transformation is an example for all of our people.
Especially an example for our ill-educated, wayward young men.
Malcolm X during his teenage years when he was known as Malcolm Little or Detroit Red; was a totally out of control young man.
He was a school dropout; living by his wits in New York City.
He drank alcohol, and took drugs.
He was also a drug dealer, a pimp, a con man, a burglar, a stick up man, gambler, he hustled homosexual men for money; had sex with married women etc.
In effect, Malcolm did everything imaginable to survive.
He was a predator who preyed on the weaknesses of his fellow African Americans.
He was the kind of low life that no decent person wanted to be associated with.
He was the type of wild looking young man, that if a respectable person saw him coming towards them on the sidewalk; they would cross the street to avoid passing him.
He was finally caught during one of his burglaries and was sent to prison for ten years.
During his incarceration, because of his wild looking facial expression and hia strange behaviour the other prisoners stay clear of him.
They gave him the nickname of ‘satan.’
One of his brothers wrote him a letter, telling him that he knew of a way to get him out of prison.
He told him the first thing he should do, was to stop eating pork.
Malcolm thought that his brother had some scheme in mind to get him an early release from prison.
He decided to do as his brother had asked. He stopped eating pork.
In the prison where he was, on the the days when pork was served; it was a special treat for the prisoners.
All the inmates looked forward to those pork days.
So when the word when around the prison that satan had stopped eating pork; it gave Malcolm a sense of pride.
They were talking about him; because of something other than his wildness.
He had rejected something that was highly prized by all the other prisoners.
His willpower had been strengthened by going against the grain.
This was the beginning of Malcolm’s rejection of what others believed was the norm.
Later, when his brothers visited him in prison he found out that they had joined a religious organization called the Nation Of Islam (NOI).
This organization believed that Caucasian people were devils; and that African Americans were member of the Lost Tribe of Shabazz; who were god’s chosen people.
The members did not eat pork; drink alcohol or take drugs.
They believe that eating pork, drinking alcohol and taking drugs; clouded a person’s ability to think clearly.
They believed these were some of the tools used by the devils to keep black people under the devil’s control.
They wanted Malcolm to stop eating pork so that when they spoke to him about the NOI he would be more receptive.
The leader of this organization was Elijah Muhammad who was called the Messenger of Allah.
Allah they explained to him, was the Name of The One True God.
And this God had raised up Messenger Elijah Muhammad from among them to save African Americans from the Caucasian people.
Malcolm accepted the religion of his brothers.
A spark had ignited Malcolm’s soul.
For the next few years while he was still in prison; Malcolm’s who had been a man with the soul and mentality of a lowly worm was transformed into a beautiful butterfly.
He taught himself how to read properly. He studied every word in the dictionary to improve his comprehension and pronunciation of words.
I am not going to try and explain the process of his transformation here.
Anyone who is really interested should read the book, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.”
The point of this article is to point out the hypocrisy of the majority of the people of African descent who claim to love Malcolm X.
When Malcolm’s stepped out of prison he was a completely changed individual.
His heart and mind was consumed with the thought of how he could be of service to Elijah Muhammad.
He wanted to know how he could help Elijah Muhammad to save African Americans from the influences of the devils.
When Malcolm returned to New York City as a minister of the NOI; he sent shock waves throughout the African American community.
Especially among the people who knew him before the change.
They couldn’t believe that the low life that they had known as Detroit Red, was the same person.
He was now intelligent; he was articulate; he was cool and calm and he looked so good.
In record time he established Nation of Islam Temples all over the major cities on the East Coast of America.
In the past he had been a travelling drug seller to many Jazz musicians and many of them embraced the teaching of the NOI.
The majority of the people today praising Malcolm have not made any changes to their lifestyle.
Many African Americans who are now praising Malcolm X, are more like Malcolm Little AKA Detroit Red; rather than Malcolm X.
Many of them still eat pork.
Many of them still take drugs and drink alcohol.
Many of them are still committing fornication or adultery.
Many of them still have the slave family names passed down to them from their slave ancestors.
Our European names are like cattle brands to show which Caucasian masters our slave ancestors belonged to.
Many of them are still Christians who believe in a Caucasian son of god.
Some of them are even Atheists; although Malcolm had a strong belief in The Creator.
To really love and follow Malcolm X; we must be strong enough to overcome the weaknesses of this hypocritical religious, and corrupt society.
If we want to be like Malcolm El Shabazz we MUST make changes to our own lifestyle.
If we want to accomplish the things that he accomplished during his lifetime we must follow his physical, mental and spiritual example.
To be good leaders we have to be good followers.
As Malcolm had been to Elijah Muhammad.
Find someone whom you believe in; someone with a plan to help our people.
Then do everything you can to help them achieve their plan.
Unfortunately, many of our people are too arrogant to follow a leader, unselfishly as Malcolm followed Elijah Muhammad.
We all want to be the kings or queens; and not the lowly, devoted servant.
WE NEED TO WAKE UP!