[Documents menu] Documents menu

Malcolm X was an American revolutionary. His spirit will not die!

By Abdul Alkalimat, People's Tribune, Vol.22 no.8, 20 February 1995

Malcolm X (1925–1965) was an American revolutionary who emerged out of the experiences of black workers and poor people. He was considered a dangerous leader because he was listened to by black activists, he was respected by the black masses, and he was attracting white revolutionary youth as well.

Malcolm X was murdered for this in 1965, and the system keeps trying to kill him over and over again. But his soul and spirit live on!

During every battle for justice against racism and class exploitation, it has been common over the last 30 years to hear the slogan "Remember Malcolm!" This has been a reminder that his voice embodied what we respect most and what we need: cutting social criticism of our oppressive conditions, a vision of a new society based on positive human values, and the moral courage to fight back.

Malcolm X shocked America by going public with a revolutionary rap. He said things that had been only whispered. The voice of Malcolm X was the voice of the American Revolution screaming to be heard.

He started out from the dogma of the Nation of Islam, but as a soldier in the fight for liberation, he changed his views as new experiences led to new lessons. He was a person who began teaching in the classroom of the black ghetto, and he ended up teaching in classrooms throughout the world.

The vision he had was of a world of universal brotherhood in which each person would be respected and loved as a citizen and as a child of God. He was opposed to racism, to capitalism and all its evil manifestations in the world, to male supremacy, and to religious intolerance. His vision was a vision of an American Revolution for all of us.

We are not supposed to honor him for the world leader that he was. Some people want to limit him to the black community, though he was surely "our shining black prince." Some people want to turn him into a reformist, and some want to tarnish his memory by attacking those he loved.

But when people stop listening to these would-be critics and listen to Malcolm, when we "Remember Malcolm," there is no doubt that we embrace a visionary who captured the soul of the American Revolution.