Category Archives: Your Voice

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Mapping the Life of El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X)
I admire El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) and the impact that he had on people of African descent. As such, I was pleased to see a Malcolm X exhibit on Second Life.

Drumbeats from Black Threads told us about the efforts of Moraine Valley Community College to analyze this autobiography in detail. The students of this community college map the life of Malcolm X, in geographic terms, based on the information provided in his autobiography.

Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X is at once inspirational, controversial, and historic. It is a novel that has had far-reaching success selling millions of copies and influencing Americans of all races and creeds.

This “autobiography” relates the life story of Civil Rights leader Malcolm X, who came of age in the segregated America of the 1940s and 1950s. He embraced religion while in prison and sought to free his people “by any means necessary.” By the end of his life, Malcolm X was one of the most prominent African American leaders. While on a journey to Mecca, he began to preach a more inclusive ideology that emphasized cooperation and understanding. The Autobiography of Malcolm X provides a valuable glimpse of America. More importantly, it is the story of one man rising up against oppression and learning, through his own experiences, how America might redeem itself.

Villagers have shared thoughts on the birth and death of Malcolm X in the past. I would love to hear from you again today. What is your lasting memory of El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X)?

Middle School Students Unveil MX art

Malcolm X Mural Unveiled at 6 p.m. May 19

Omaha – The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Service-Learning Academy brought together Meredith Bacon’s UNO Minority Politics class and Gabrielle Gaines-Liwaru’s art students from Beveridge Magnet Middle School for Global Studies and the Arts, a program designed to create a mural for the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation (MXMF).

Gaines-Liwaru started the project by offering a signup sheet for those interested. “Beveridge students feel compelled to honor the positive traits of this slain civil rights leader, whose birth site has been a trash dumpsite in our North Omaha community,” she said.

Sharif Liwaru, MXMF president, was active in guiding the UNO students, as well as the Beveridge Art students, as they researched and sketched their ideas. Representatives of Beveridge’s art majors and art club visited the UNO campus in April for a presentation by UNO’s Minority Politics class to learn about Malcolm X beyond his highly publicized image. Students heard about his values for equality, justice and education, and used these as inspirations in collaborating to create the mural that portrays the accurate and honorable life story of this Omaha native.

The project’s culminating event will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, 3448 Evans St.

At the celebration, the Beveridge students will unveil the mural they spent the last few months creating. Following the unveiling, MXMF will feature the play, The Meeting.

The UNO Service-Learning Academy facilitates partnership between the university and K-12 schools with the purpose of connecting curriculum to community needs through the development of academic service learning experiences.

For more information, contact:
• Lucy Garza Westbrook, UNO Service-Learning Academy: 402-554-3055 or
• Meredith Bacon, UNO Department of Political Science: 402-554-4858 or
• Gabrielle Gaines-Liwaru, Beveridge Magnet Middle School: 402-557-4000 or
• Luanne Nelson, Omaha Public Schools: 402-557-2070 or

From UNO Announcements

2011.05.11 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley – University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 – email:

* *

Follow UNO’s Twitter updates at Become a fan of UNO on Facebook: Watch UNO on YouTube:

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

Life of Reinvention

Posted by Steve Sherman on Apr 1 2011 at Left Eye On Books, Progressive Book and News Reviews. Filed under Book Industry News, News Blog, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry.

Generally, we wait until a book is officially released to ‘pick’ it.  But today we honor Manning Marable, who just passed away at the age of 60.  Here’s back cover info on his exciting new book:

“Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins’ bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable’s new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Reaching into Malcolm’s troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents’ activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.”


25 Hours

Posted by Faithlynn Gabrielle on March 1, 2011 at 3:49am

View Faithlynn Gabrielle’s blog

“If you could say one thing to your brother, what would it be?” “I would tell him I miss you and I love you.”

An amateur journalist who decided on a whim to pack some survival essentials and take some buddies to save the abducted child soldiers of Uganda, asked a young boy the question above. The boy’s answer was directed to his brother who was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army of Joesph Kony. His brother had been gone for years and was mostly likely dead, while his two remaining siblings are trying to flee from one of the world’s most ignored humanitarian crises. The grief that you feel when someone very close to you passes is not something that you can express on paper, but you just feel.The ripping desperation you feel to have a person with you that was taken away for no justifiable cause, is an even more difficult shadow to describe.

Watching that little boy barely able to say what he would tell his brother through his tears, forced me to feel a shock of his pain that resulted in a publicly crying in my high school classroom. As simple as those two sentences the young boy spoke were, I can’t imagine saying anything different to the people I’ve lost. As much as I detest tearing up in front of people I don’t know well, it wasn’t something I could control at that moment. Even though some my classmates hadn’t experienced grief, and it still brought them to tears as well. The amazing thing about film is that visuals can break down walls that we put up to survive in a scrutinizing society and compel you to think and feel about matters we tend to avoid.

The three filmmakers who produced “Invisible Children: Rough Cut” were able to let the escaping children of Uganda walk out of Africa and tell a story that otherwise would not have been heard or seen. Out of the many documentaries that I’ve watched this one has stayed with me the most. It’s extremely personal, explains the  history of the northern Ugandan conflict well, and is brightening in a dark situation. If you haven’t seen the film, watch it. You can do so easily on YouTube by searching for Invisible Children. The Invisible Children movement has flowered with many staff members from the seeds of those three activists. Millions of people have seen the original documentary that has helped to fund scholarships and community rebuilding for the victims of the conflict.

Invisible Children’s main venue of activism is through the media arts, and on April 25th they are inviting everyone to donate 25 dollars to participate in their protection plan and to engage in twenty-five hours of silence out of reverence and awareness for children of Uganda.

The Protection Plan of the Invisible Children movement aims to accomplish:

  • Building a communication network and facilitating 24-hour early warning network.
  • Providing humanitarians with up-to-date information to better deploy their services.
  • Guaranteeing no massacre goes unseen.
  • Encouraging the continued defection of LRA rank and file combatants.
  • Providing every child rescued from the LRA access to rehabilitation.
  • Making total rehabilitation feasible upon the dismantling of the LRA leadership.

With the donation of 25 dollars, you will receive a t-shirt, a set of cards explaining why you are raising money since it is assumed that you are silent, and a lanyard to hold the cards.

Invisible Children also carries other t-shirts, bracelets, and handbags/messenger bags made by Ugandan women. Also, Duquesne University will be showing Invisible Children’s latest documentary “Tony” at 9pm free of charge on March 8th inside the Papper Lecture Hall located in Bayer.

Even if you can’t be silent on April 25th, purchasing the action kit, just donating, and even just talking about what you’ve seen from these once invisible children can continue their healing.

Watch Night

Whether It Is New Year’s Eve or “Watch Night” or “Freedom’s Eve”, the Black Community in America Celebrates Freedom from Slavery as of 11:59 pm, December 31, 1862

“On that night, Blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had actually become law.”


 Written by Charyn D. Sutton

If you live or grew up in a Black community in the United States, you have probably heard of “Watch Night Services,” the gathering of the faithful in church on New Year’s Eve.  The service usually begins anywhere from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year.  Some folks come to church first, before going to out to celebrate.  For others, church is the only New Year’s Eve event.

(pic) Illustration Citation: Heard and Moseley.  “Waiting for the hour [Emancipation] December 31, 1862.

Like many others, I always assumed that Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious service — made a bit more Afrocentric because that’s what happens when elements of Christianity become linked with the Black Church.  And yes, there is a history of Watch Night in the Methodist tradition.  Still, it seemed that most predominately White Christian churches did not include Watch Night services on their calendars, but focused instead on Christmas Eve programs.  In fact, there were instances where clergy in Mainline denominations wondered aloud about the propriety of linking religious services with a secular holiday like New Year’s Eve.

However, in doing some research, I discovered there are two essential reasons for the importance of New Year’s Eve services in African American congregations.  Many of the Watch Night Services in Black communities that we celebrate today can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as “Freedom’s Eve.”  On that night, Americans of African descent came together in churches, gathering places and private homes throughout the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had become law.  Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was  January 1, 1863, and according to Lincoln’s promise, all slaves in the Confederate States were legally free.  People remained in churches and other gathering places, eagerly awaiting word that Emancipation had been declared.  When the actual news of freedom was received later that day, there were prayers, shouts and  songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God.

(pic) Women sit through and pray at a Watch Night Service

But even before 1862 and the possibility of a Presidential Emancipation, African people had gathered on New Year’s Eve on plantations across the South.  That is because many owners of enslaved Africans tallied up their business accounts on the first day of each new year.  Human property was sold along with land and furnishings to satisfy debts.  Families and friends were separated.  Often they never saw each other again in this earthly world.  Thus coming together on December 31 might be the last time for enslaved and free Africans to be together with loved ones.

So, Black folks in North America have gathered annually on New Year’s Eve since the earliest days, praising God for bringing us safely through another year and praying for the future.  Certainly, those traditional gatherings were made even more poignant by the events of 1863 which brought freedom to the slaves and the Year of Jubilee.   Many generations have passed since and most of us were never taught the African American history of Watch Night.  Yet our traditions and our faith still bring us together at the end of every year to celebrate once again “how we got over.”

(pic) Preparing for the Watch Night Service

Advice to Youth

Malcolm X: Advice to the Youth of Mississippi (1964)

On December 31, 1964, a month and a half before he was assassinated, African American militant Malcolm X made the remarks from which this selection is taken to a group of thirty-seven teenagers from McComb, Mississippi. They had come to New York City on a trip sponsored by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Early in 1964 Malcolm had left the Black Muslims, with whom he had been affiliated since 1952; he started the Organization of Afro-American Unity in June 1964. SOURCE

One of the first things I think young people, especially nowadays, should learn is how to see for yourself and listen for yourself and think for yourself. Then you can come to an intelligent decision for yourself. If you form the habit of going by what you hear others say about someone, or going by what others think about someone, instead of searching that thing out for yourself and seeing for yourself, you will be walking west when you think you”re going east, and you will be walking east when you think you”re going west. This generation, especially of our people, has a burden, more so than any other time in history. The most important thing that we can learn to do today is think for ourselves.

It”s good to keep wide-open ears and listen to what everybody else has to say, but when you come to make a decision, you have to weigh all of what you”ve heard on its own, and place it where it belongs, and come to a decision for yourself; you”ll never regret it. But if you form the habit of taking what someone else says about a thing without checking it out for yourself, you”ll find that other people will have you hating your friends and loving your enemies. This is one of the things that our people are beginning to learn today–that it is very important to think out a situation for yourself. If you don”t do it, you”ll always be maneuvered into a situation where you are never fighting your actual enemies, where you will find yourself fighting your own self.

I think our people in this country are the best examples of that. Many of us want to be nonviolent and we talk very loudly, you know, about being nonviolent. Here in Harlem, where there are probably more black people concentrated than any place in the world, some talk that nonviolent talk too. But we find that they aren”t nonviolent with each other. You can go out to Harlem Hospital, where there are more black patients than any hospital in the world, and see them going in there all cut up and shot up and busted up where they got violent with each other.

My experience has been that in many instances where you find Negroes talking about nonviolence, they are not nonviolent with each other, and they”re not loving with each other or forgiving with each other. Usually when they say they”re nonviolent, they mean they”re nonviolent with somebody else. I think you understand what I mean. They are nonviolent with the enemy. A person can come to your home, and if he”s white and wants to heap some kind of brutality on you, you”re nonviolent; or he can come to take your father and put a rope around his neck, and you’re nonviolent. But if another Negro just stomps his foot, you”ll rumble with him in a minute. Which shows you that there”s an inconsistency there.

I myself would go for nonviolence if it was consistent, if everybody was going to be nonviolent all the time. I’d say, okay, let’s get with it, we”ll all be nonviolent. But I don”t go along with any kind of nonviolence unless everybody”s going to be nonviolent. If they make the Ku Klux Klan nonviolent, I”ll be nonviolent. If they make the White Citizens Council nonviolent, I”ll be nonviolent. But as long as you’ve got somebody else not being nonviolent, I don”t want anybody coming to me talking any nonviolent talk. I don”t think it is fair to tell our people to be nonviolent unless someone is out there making the Klan and the Citizens Council and these other groups also be nonviolent. . . .

I think in 1965, whether you like it, or I like it, or they like it, or not, you will see that there is a generation of black people becoming mature to the point where they feel that they have no more business being asked to take a peaceful approach than anybody else takes, unless everybody”s going to take a peaceful approach.

So we here in the Organization of Afro-American Unity are with the struggle in Mississippi 1,000 percent. We”re with the efforts to register our people in Mississippi to vote 1,000 percent. But we do not go along with anybody telling us to help nonviolently. We think that if the government says that Negroes have a right to vote, and then some Negroes come out to vote, and some kind of Ku Klux Klan is going to put them in the river, and the government doesn’t do anything about it, it”s time for us to organize and band together and equip ourselves and qualify ourselves to protect ourselves. And once you can protect yourself, you don”t have to worry about being hurt. . . .

If you don”t have enough people down there to do it, we”ll come down there and help you do it. Because we”re tired of this old runaround that our people have been given in this country. For a long time they accused me of not getting involved in politics. They should”ve been glad I didn’t get involved in politics, because anything I get in, I”m in it all the way. If they say we don”t take part in the Mississippi struggle, we will organize brothers here in New York who know how to handle these kind of affairs, and they”ll slip into Mississippi like Jesus slipped into Jerusalem. That doesn’t mean we”re against white people, but we sure are against the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Councils; and anything that looks like it”s against us, we”re against it.

Excuse me for raising my voice, but this thing, you know, gets me upset. Imagine that–a country that”s supposed to be a democracy, supposed to be for freedom and all of that kind of stuff when they want to draft you and put you in the army and send you to Saigon to fight for them–and then you’ve got to turn around and all night long discuss how you”re going to just get a right to register and vote without being murdered. Why, that”s the most hypocritical government since the world began! . . .

I hope you don”t think I”m trying to incite you. Just look here: Look at yourselves. Some of you are teen-agers, students. How do you think I feel–and I belong to a generation ahead of you–how do you think I feel to have to tell you, “We, my generation, sat around like a knot on a wall while the whole world was fighting for its human rights–and you”ve got to be born into a society where you still have the same fight.” What did we do, who preceded you? I”ll tell you what we did: Nothing. And don”t you make the same mistake we made. . . .

You get freedom by letting your enemy know that you”ll do anything to get your freedom; then you”ll get it. It”s the only way you”ll get it. When you get that kind of attitude, they”ll label you as a “crazy Negro,” or they”ll call you a “crazy nigger”–they don”t say Negro. Or they”ll call you an extremist or a subversive, or seditious, or a red, or a radical. But when you stay radical long enough, and get enough people to be like you, you”ll get your freedom. . . .

So don”t you run around here trying to make friends with somebody who”s depriving you of your rights. They”re not your friends, no, they”re your enemies. Treat them like that and fight them, and you”ll get your freedom; and after you get your freedom, your enemy will respect you. And we”ll respect you. And I say that with no hate. I don”t have hate in me. I have no hate at all. I don”t have any hate. I’ve got some sense. I”m not going to let anybody who hates me tell me to love him. I”m not that way-out. And you, young as you are, and because you start thinking, you”re not going to do it either. The only time you”re going to get in that bag is if somebody puts you there. Somebody else, who doesn’t have your welfare at heart. . . .

I want to thank all of you for taking the time to come to Harlem and especially here. I hope that you’ve gotten a better understanding about me. I put it to you just as plain as I know how to put it; there”s no interpretation necessary. And I want you to know that we”re not in any way trying to advocate any kind of indiscriminate, unintelligent action. Any kind of action that you are ever involved in that”s designed to protect the lives and property of our mistreated people in this country, we”re with you 1,000 percent. And if you don”t feel you”re qualified to do it, we have some brothers who will slip in, as I said earlier, and help train you and show you how to equip yourself and let you know how to deal with the man who deals with you.


Source: Malcolm X Speaks, George Breitman, ed., New York, 1965, pp. 137-146.

Lost Chapters Released

From –

Four lost chapters from the Malcolm X Autobiography were released on Wednesday, May 19, 2010. The existence of the introduction, and three other unpublished chapters intended for the 19-chapter autobiography, were acquired by entertainment attorney Gregory J. Reed at a 1992 auction of Haley’s estate.

This introduction was read publicly for the first time to an audience of hundreds at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in New York. The organization was founded by the civil rights leader’s late widow Dr. Betty Shabazz and is housed in historic Audubon, the building where he was killed.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

America cannot ignore the Negro’s problem. It is in the best interest of humanity.

Most sincerely, I want my life story to do as much good for humanity as it possibly can, for both of the races in America.

I can only hope that…(read more)

Malcolm X At Oxford 1964

From Open Culture

in History | August 30th, 2009 Leave a Comment


I enjoy replaying this vintage gem every now and then  — Malcolm X debating at Oxford University in 1964. In this classic video, you get a good feel for Malcolm X’s presence and message, not to mention the social issues that were alive during the day. You’ll hear X’s trademark claim that liberty can be attained by “whatever means necessary,” including force, if the government won’t guarantee it, and that “intelligently directed extremism” will achieve liberty far more effectively than pacifist strategies. (He’s clearly alluding to Martin Luther King.) You can listen to the speech in its entirety here (Real Audio), something that is well worth doing. But I’d also encourage you to watch the dramatic closing minutes and pay some attention to the nice rhetorical slide, where X takes lines from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and uses them to justify his “by whatever means necessary” position. You’d probably never expect to see Hamlet getting invoked that way, let alone Malcolm X speaking at Oxford. A wonderful set of contrasts.


“I read once, passingly, about a man named Shakespeare. I only read about him passingly, but I remember one thing he wrote that kind of moved me. He put it in the mouth of Hamlet, I think, it was, who said, ‘To be or not to be.’ He was in doubt about something—whether it was nobler in the mind of man to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune—moderation—or to take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. And I go for that. If you take up arms, you’ll end it, but if you sit around and wait for the one who’s in power to make up his mind that he should end it, you’ll be waiting a long time. And in my opinion, the young generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change. People in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built, and the only way it’s going to be built—is with extreme methods. And I, for one, will join in with anyone—I don’t care what color you are—as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.”


Can’t Hate The Roots of A Tree

You Can’t Hate The Roots Of A Tree, Without Hating The Tree


Now and then the editors of The Black Star News retrieve a classic from the archives to nourish contemporary minds; here is one of Malcolm X’s brief and brilliant pieces.
Why should the Black man in America concern himself since he’s been away from the African continent for three or four hundred years? Why should we concern ourselves?

What impact does what happens to them have upon us? Number one, you have to realize that up until 1959 Africa was dominated by the colonial powers. Having complete control over Africa, the colonial powers of Europe projected the image of Africa negatively.

They always project Africa in a negative light: jungle savages, cannibals, nothing civilized. Why then, naturally it was so negative that it was negative to you and me, and you and I began to hate it. We didn’t want anybody telling us anything about Africa, much less calling us Africans.

In hating Africa and in hating the Africans, we ended up hating ourselves, without even realizing it. Because you can’t hate the roots of a tree, and not hate the tree. You can’t hate your origin and not end up hating yourself. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself.

You show me one of these people over here who has been thoroughly brainwashed and has a negative attitude toward Africa, and I’ll show you one who has a negative attitude toward himself. You can’t have a positive attitude toward yourself and a negative attitude toward Africa at the same time. To the same degree that your understanding of and attitude toward Africa become positive, you’ll find that your understanding of and your attitude toward yourself will also become positive.

And this is what the white man knows. So they very skillfully make you and me hate our African identity, our African characteristics. You know yourself; that we have been a people who hated our African characteristics. We hated our hair, we hated the shape of our nose, we wanted one of those long doglike noses, you know; we hated the color of our skin, hated the blood of Africa that was in our veins. And in hating our features and our skin and our blood, why, we had to end up hating ourselves.
And we hated ourselves.

Our color became to us a chain–we felt that it was holding us back; our color became to us like a prison which we felt was keeping us confined, not letting us go this way or that way. We felt all of these restrictions were based solely upon our color, and the psychological reaction to that would have to be that as long as we felt imprisoned or chained or trapped by Black skin, Black features, and Black blood, that skin and those features and that blood that was holding us back automatically had to become hateful to us. And it became hateful to us.

It made us feel inferior; it made us feel inadequate; it made us feel helpless. And when we fell victims to this feeling of inadequacy or inferiority or helplessness, we turned to somebody else to show us the way. We didn’t have confidence in another Black man to show us the way, or Black people to show us the way. In those days we didn’t. We didn’t think a man could do anything except play some horns–you know, make sound and make you happy with some songs and in that way.

But in serious things, where our food, clothing, and shelter, and education were concerned, we turned to the man. We never thought in terms of bringing these things into existence for ourselves, we never thought in terms of doing things for ourselves. Because we felt helpless.

What made us feel helpless was our hatred for ourselves.

One of the things that made the Black Muslim movement grow was its emphasis upon things African. This was the secret to the growth of the Black Muslim movement. African blood, African origin, African culture, African ties.

And you’d be surprised–we discovered that deep within the subconscious of the Black man in this country, he is still more African than he is American. He thinks that he’s more American than African, because the man is jiving him, the man is brainwashing him every day.

He’s telling him, “You’re an American, you’re an American.” Man, how could you think you’re and American when you haven’t ever had any kind of an American tree over here? You have never, never. Ten men can be at a table eating, you know, dining, and I can come and sit down where they’re dining. They’re dining; I’ve got a plate in front of me, but nothing is on it.

Because all of us are sitting at the same table, are all us are diners? I’m not a diner until you let me dine. Then I become a diner. Just being at the table with others who are dining doesn’t make me a diner, and this is what you’ve got to get in your head here in this country. Just because you’re in this country doesn’t make you an American.

No, you’ve got to go farther than that before you can become an American. You’ve got to enjoy the fruits of Americanism. You haven’t enjoyed those fruits. You’ve enjoyed the thorns. You’ve enjoyed the thistles. But you have not enjoyed the fruits; no sir.

So I point these things out brothers and sister so that you and I will know the importance of in 1965 being in complete unity with one each other, harmony with each another, and not letting the man maneuver us into fighting one another.

I say again that I’m not a racist. I don’t believe in any form of segregation or anything like that. I’m for the brotherhood for everybody, but I don’t believe in forcing brotherhood upon people who don’t want it. So long as we practice brotherhood among ourselves, and then others who want to practice brotherhood with us, we practice it with them also; we’ll work for that.

But I don’t think that we should run around trying to love somebody who doesn’t love us.


Some of Malcolm X’s classics:

You Can’t Hate the Roots of a Tree

The Oxford Debate
Ossie Davis’s Eulogy


This Article was reposted from Black Star News.

Please post your comments online or submit them to

“Speaking Truth To Power.”


God’s Blessings

by Amir Sulaiman

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Whosoever would like to make a living by being grateful to Allah has a long labour ahead of him. It is enough for us to use all of our living days thanking Allah for Islam and it would be insufficient.

Rather we could spend all of our living days thanking Allah only for salat and on our deathbeds we would find ourselves coming up short. Even for the knowledge and ability to make one prostration we could spend our every waking hour thanking Allah for that prostration and we would still die in debt.

Do not allow yourself to forget that there are some from the Children of Adam (as) who have never made one prostration to their Lord. Neither they nor their parents or their parent’s parents as far as they can trace their lineage, have ever prostrated even once before their Creator. What is worse is that, for some of them, their children and their children’s children until the Day of Judgment will never make one prostration to Allah, Most High. They will never taste the sweetness of this perfected mode of worship. How blessed are the prostrators?! So whosoever among us prostrators who would like to make a living being grateful to Allah has a long labour ahead of him.

Do not allow yourself to forget that while we are sending up the foul smoke of our sins , in turn, Allah sends down the sweet mist of his blessings to cover the believer and disbeliever, the righteous and the wicked, the grateful and the ingrates alike. Have you not seen the life-giving rain falling upon the oppressed and the oppressor, the holy and the foul, the guided and the astray alike?

Have you not seen the fruit growing amidst the sincere and the hypocrites, the patient and the impatient, the just and the tyrants alike? One group exceeds the other group only by way of their degree of gratitude. However are there any amongst us who are truly grateful? And We have distributed the (water) amongst them, in order that they may celebrate (our) praises, but most men are averse (to aught) but (rank) ingratitude (25:50)

So, whosoever would like to make a living by being grateful to Allah has a long labour ahead of him. How much gratitude do we owe even for one verse of Qur’an, In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful(1:1)? How many days of thanks should we spend for this verse let alone the six other verses that follow it or the other 113 surahs that follow them? What a mercy it is that Allah even turned His face and spoke to us. The Lord of all the worlds, the Master of the Day of Judgment, glorified is He, has revealed something of Himself to us when we are but mud turned to blood, bones, and bowels. And what has He revealed about Himself except that He is Most Gracious and Most Merciful. Glory be to Allah and mercy be on those who glorify Him. And We have explained to man, in this Qur’an, every kind of similitude: yet the greater part of men refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude (17:89)

Oh you grateful ones, do not allow yourself to forget that even the knowledge and ability to be grateful is but a gift from Allah. Know that there are some from the Children of Adam (as) that do not have the knowledge or desire to thank Allah. What is worse is that neither their parents nor their children as far as the eye can see have been grateful to their Creator and Sustainer. So not only are we to thank Allah for His blessings but also thank Him for teaching us to thank Him for there are some who do not know or do not care. So we must thank Him for showing us how to thank Him. Then we must thank Him for giving us the insight to thank Him for instilling in us the desire to thank Him. Then we are indebted to Him for allowing us the thanks of that thanks which is thanks for the orginal thanks and so on and on until the day when the mountains will pass like clouds and the sky will be like molten brass and the Angels of the Garden and the Angels of the Fire will stand ready awaiting the command of their Lord.

So, whosoever would like to make a living by being grateful to Allah has a long labour ahead of him. Do not be neglectful of this labour for it is a good labour the fruits of which multiply exponentially. And remember! your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): “If ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you (14:7). Out of Allah’s Grace and Mercy, He has decreed that our gratitude will increase His favours upon us , which in turn, will make us more grateful, which will increase His favours, making us more grateful, which will increase His favours and this pattern goes on and on until the Horn is sounded and the dead are raised to settle all accounts. So this long labour is a sweet and blessed labour and no labour has a greater profit margin than the labour of gratitude.

Is it enough to make your heart swell in your chest and tears to swell in your eyes to know that after all of this Allah calls Himself Al Shakur, The Grateful? How is Allah grateful to this newly created race of ingrates called humankind? How kind is He; how Merciful is He to show gratitude to a creation sprung from dirt, reproduced via a despised fluid and returns to the dirt as food for maggots. How forbearing is He to show gratitude while most of mankind is wandering the Earth neglectful of his duty to their Lord. We are not justly grateful yet our service to Him is always justly rewarded . No, rather the reward for our service is generously multiplied many times over while our wrong actions are counted only once if they are not wiped away as if they never happened. Who amongst us is truly grateful to The Grateful? May Allah have mercy upon us all.

What is certain is that there is nothing worthy of worship besides Allah, Most High. What is certain is that Muhammad is his servant and messenger, may peace and blessings be upon him, his family, and all those who follow them. What is certain is that all praise is for Allah, Lord of all the worlds.

We bestowed (in the past) Wisdom on Luqman: “Show (thy) gratitude to Allah.” Any who is (so) grateful does so to the profit of his own soul: but if any is ungrateful, verily Allah is free of all wants, Worthy of all praise. (31:12)

The Messiah once prayed, “O my Lord, how can I be thankful for the many blessings you have bestowed upon me, when the ability to thank You is, in itself, a blessing- for which I must render thanks?” God answered saying, “That you know this is thanks enough.”