Malcolm X – 50 years on

I’m giving away ten copies of his autobiography to Commemorate 50 years since his passing,

I’ve often played with the idea of trying to write something about El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (more commonly known as Malcolm X). I wouldn’t know where to begin, where to end, which aspect to focus on. In my opinion any summary of his remarkable metamorphosis would be inadequate and his life must be studied through his own words to get the deepest understanding of the man and the legacy.

“The ability to read awoke inside of me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.” Malcolm X

It’s been 50 years since Malcolm X was gunned down in the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. From downtrodden street hustling “Detroit Red” to a pivotal leader for change in a discriminating world his story is one of pain, politics and the pursuit of truth and freedom.

As part of the 50th year I’ve decided the best way I can commemorate is by gifting a copy of his autobiography to ten people who haven’t read it but would like to. If you are one of these people then get in touch and I’ll post a copy out to you.

There’s no strings attached but (if possible) I’d love to hear what you thought of the book and the man after you’ve read it.

I’ll leave you with one extract that always gives me goosebumps about the transformation of Malcolm X. As he looks out of the window at Harvard University preparing to deliver a speech he realises a building nearby is where he would hide out during his days as a burglar.

“I was the invited speaker at the Harvard Law School Forum. I happened to glance through a window. Abruptly, I realized that I was looking in the direction of the apartment house that was my old burglary gang’s hideout.

It rocked me like a tidal wave. Scenes from my once depraved life lashed through my mind. Living like an animal; thinking like an animal!

Awareness came surging up in me-how deeply the religion of Islam had reached down into the mud to lift me up, to save me from being what I inevitably would have been: a dead criminal in a grave, or, if still alive, a flint-hard, bitter, thirty-seven-year-old convict in some penitentiary, or insane asylum. Or, at best, I would have been an old, fading Detroit Red, hustling, stealing enough for food and narcotics, and myself being stalked as prey by cruelly ambitious younger
hustlers such as Detroit Red had been.

But Allah had blessed me to learn about the religion of Islam, which had enabled me to lift myself up from the muck and the mire of this rotting world.

And there I stood, the invited speaker, at Harvard.”