Happy Birthday Malcolm

Today marks the 86th birthday of the late African American activist Malcolm X. We’ve been hearing a lot about Malcolm X lately since the recent release of a new biography about him written by the great scholar Manning Marable, who just passed away a few weeks ago.

A controversial and often misunderstood historical figure, Malcolm X was a Muslim and saw his faith in God as inextricably tied to his relentless fight against racism and injustice. At the end of the day, it all came back to human rights. We Sikhs know the long struggle for human rights all too well, and I for one take inspiration from this fearless leader who tragically lost his life at the age of 39 in his fight for human rights and dignity.

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15 Responses to “Happy Birthday Malcolm”

  1. Naseeb Kaur says:

    Nice post, Brooklynwala. Malcom's use of X instead of his slave name 'Malcolm Little' somehow reminded me of the use of Singh and Kaur for Sikhs.

    If anyone is interested, a thorough biography on Malcolm X's life was released this year by Manning Marable earlier this year. It is actually much denser than Malcom's own autobiography, perhaps a good choice for Sikh Book Clubs: http://www.democracynow.org/seo/2011/5/19/malcolm

  2. Blighty Singh says:

    Firstly, I fail to see what a black american muslim has got to do with me as a Sikh. Secondly, I very much doubt 'Malcolm Little' was, as you say "his slave name". By all accounts, only something like 1% of freed slaves took on the surname of their slave master. You can tell that with the preponderance of Welsh surnames among black Americans, such as Thomas, Jones and Davis. Very very few Welsh were slave owners but, as can be seen with the fact that 50% of the signers of the American Declaration of Independance were Welsh, they, through their Baptsist and Methodist faith, were very much at the forefront of anti-slavery…….and thus, as with common black american surnames such as Washington, Jackson, Johnson etc…….Black Americans tended to, AFTER freedom….well after freedom, choose their own surnames based mostly on people they respected but also on the traditional English method of having a surname which denoted your occupation, such as 'Fuller', 'Clarke', Cooke, 'Hooper' 'Wright' etc. (continued below)…

  3. Blighty Singh says:

    …..Similarly, the way that many black Americans have Irish catholic surnames such as 'O'Neill' etc can be traced back to the Proclamation of 1625 in which the English transported Irish to the Americas to be used as slaves on the English plantations. So…..black American surnames are surnames they themselves chose AFTER slavery for their own good reasons….names they either respected or felt a kinship with. Vast majority of slave owners being anglicans (what you in America call episcopols) but today, most black americans having surnames mostly associated with early English Baptists ; Smith, Williams etc. So…in conclusion….what has the spiritual journey of a baptist to islam got to do with any of us as sikhs ?

  4. Harinder says:

    Leaning of LH Writers :–

    1) Brooklywala :– Muslim friendly writer
    2) Mehamaan :- Hindu baiter

  5. billa says:

    The self-pitying victimhood narrative that this blog promotes with posts like this is equally funny and sad.

  6. cv editor says:

    Every human being has this right to celebrate to his birthday. He should celebrate to the occasion of birthday. He can be easy to prefer and try to make a happy movement as well.

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