joy magnetism: Stand for something*

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stand for something*

Magnet #1098 - Malcolm X

I missed using this magnet on the 21st, the 46th anniversary of the day Malcolm X was killed. I'll be the first to admit to not knowing as much as I probably should about the man, or what he stood for.

What little I know is from History channel, summarized here: that he was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of a Baptist minister who himself was killed when Malcolm was only six. From there, the boy was raised in and out of the system, until finally he ended up in jail at 21 for burglary.

There, he learned of Elijah Muhammad and the teachings of the Nation of Islam, a black nationalist group, changing his name to Malcolm X in honor of his stolen African identity. He became a full-on minister of the Nation of Islam, taking a harder, more aggressive line in the fight for civil rights.

Eventually the Nation of Islam forced him out, as his influence grew, and he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. He came back as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, forming the Organization of Afro-American Unity, in support of black identity. A year later, he was dead, shot down by members of the Nation of Islam, a shocking end to a life of conviction.

And that's what little I know, paraphrased from the History channel. Incidentally, this is why I can't watch any of their shows or documentaries. I end up repeating every little thing I've just learned. But, thanks for the lesson, History!

He was an intense man, for sure - you can see it just in this rather striking iconic image on this magnet. It's why I picked it up in the first place. I debated ever magnetblogging such a controversial figure - after all, this is just a magnetblog. But, once I read a little about him, I wanted to.

It's weird, you know, history is chock full of good men and bad men and everything in between, and you can read text after text, attend lecture after lecture, to learn and understand what each person believes and what course they followed. In the end though, regardless of how you feel about anyone's politics or tactics, you do have to respect a man who believed in what he stood for, and had the courage to not only defend, but fight for it.

*"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
- Malcolm X

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