It was fifty years ago today that the revered Malcolm X was murdered by adherents of the Nation of Islam (NOI). At his funeral, Ossie Davis called him “our shining black prince”.
After years in the NOI’s leadership, Malcolm renounced the inherent racism of that organization and the alleged financial, political, and moral corruption of Elijah Mohammed. Without ever caving to white power, and maintaining his belief in the ultimate weapon of armed struggle, he sought, through Sunni Muslim beliefs, to raise the self-esteem of blacks in America.
Malcolm X’s “Autobiography” stands with Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and Nelson Mandela’s speech on his release from prison as the most influential statements of civil rights in the twentieth century.