Malcolm X

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The Good Wife Works – Women write of encounters with abusive men

 

 

 

 

 

“Many men in our culture never recover from childhood unkindnesses.” — bell hooks (born 09/25/52 as Gloria Watkins)

 

The books of Pearl Cleage and Rosie Perez’s Handbook for an Unpredictable Life (N.Y.: Crown Archetype, 2014) can be of interest to our readers. Cleage’s father, Reverend Albert Cleage (1911-2000,) was a Detroit minister who knew Malcolm X.

June Jordan (1936-2002) also remembers Malcolm X at Temple Number Seven Restaurant, headquarters of Malcolm X. She wrote, “He was devastatingly hilarious, at will, steadily to the point, and gallantly respectful without exception. He was so clean, his hair cut so short, his suit so plain: it was an austerity, a focus of purposive being.”

Cleage worked with Richard Pryor (1940-2005) as a writer on his films and with former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson (1938-2003) on his mayoral campaigns. In her most recent book Things I Should Have Told My Daughter (N.Y., Atria Books, 2014), Cleage (b. 12/07/48) feels her feminist stance as strong and as important as her civil activism. Continue Reading →

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The tragedy of guns in the streets

Another senseless death
 

Maya Angelou passed May 28. She had her finger “on the pulse of morning.” She had her “caged bird” sing a prayer of freedom to rise above the “bitter, twisted lies” people of color must contend with, for, as she wrote, “Still I rise.”

The caged bird sings in classic Black gospel fashion, lifting up a prayer through its tears, yearning to be free. May our leaders raise their song for freedom too, rather than acquiesce to the gun songs that cage our young people or the bureaucratic dependency programs that cage their parents. A 17-year-old was shot and killed June 1st on the 1600 block of Newton Avenue N. His death fosters another round of talking about solutions but not attempting to open cage doors. Unless you have lost a child to violence, its hard to know and understand the feeling. Continue Reading →

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Maya Angelou April 4, 1928 — May 28, 2014

How does one pay adequate tribute to the legacy of Maya Angelou, the beloved historic icon and cultural treasure who passed away on May 28? Her enduring presence as an enlightening, empowering beacon to which the hearts and minds of Black women faithfully were drawn, after all, marked her as an individual of inestimable consequence whose like we quite probably will never see again. Dr. Angelou, nee Marguerite Annie Johnson, advanced from an auspicious literary debut, publishing her first autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings with the aid of James Baldwin, who would become a lifelong friend, to a titanic career that spanned more than a half century. Her accomplishments included, in far from a complete listing, a film rendition of the book starring Diahann Carroll and Ruby Dee; six more autobiographies; acting turns in The Richard Pryor Special?, Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson, and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion; as well as stints directing (Down In The Delta, starring Alfre Woodward, featuring Al Freeman, Jr), producing (Sister, Sister with Rosalind Cash, Diahann Carroll and Paul Winfield), and scoring film soundtracks (For Love of Ivy, starring Sidney Poitier). She is best known for her vast volume of poetry, most notably “On the Pulse of Morning,” which she recited at President Bill Clinton’s 1994 inauguration. Continue Reading →

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Why is there no Malcolm X Day?

It’s unfortunate that Malcolm X doesn’t have a holiday. He clearly is deserving of a holiday. If anyone should have a holiday, it should be him. I have been trying to think about why he hasn’t gotten one, though he has been honored with a stamp. It’s one of the reasons I was pleased that we put on the First Annual Minnesota Malcolm X Conference last week. Continue Reading →

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Organizing to unite the African world

Omali Yeshitela discusses his work in ‘the ongoing struggle’
 

By Dwight Hobbes
Staff Writer

 

The only thing more dangerous than the truth is someone committed to telling it with the courage of his or her convictions and without regard to politically correct protocol. That characteristic has distinguished such iconic individuals as Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Dick Gregory and Martin Luther King. While his isn’t a household name, Omali Yeshitela nonetheless is to be reckoned with as a statesman of integrity and as a voice that refuses to compromise. When Yeshitela, chair of the African People’s Socialist Party, relates to revolution, it’s not from an armchair. He was there, sleeves rolled up, holding the front line in the 1960s Civil Rights Era throughout the thick of it all, as the U.S. saw its most momentous upheaval since the Civil War. It isn’t lost on him that both of these landmarks confronted the subjugation of African America. This country bit off more than it could chew by enslaving Black people and has spent hundreds of years choking on it ever since. So, it couldn’t be more fitting that Yeshitela addressed the First Annual Twin Cities Malcolm X Conference this past Saturday in North Minneapolis. There is, of course, no Malcolm X Day, despite the fact that he and Martin Luther King, Jr. fought, lived and died for the same principle of equality. White liberals look on King as a sort of kindly, non-threatening figure. Malcolm, on the other hand, scared them witless. His memory still casts a disquieting pall, lest a successor emerge. Someone like Omali Yeshitela. Continue Reading →

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Conference celebrated legacy of Malcolm X

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Last weekend’s first-ever Malcolm X conference in the state was entirely devoted to the memory of the late civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1964. The first annual Minnesota Malcolm X Conference, held May 17 at North High School, was attended by over a hundred people of various ages who did not come close to filling the auditorium

“We had hoped for a full house,” admitted University of Minnesota Professor Rose Brewer, a member of a four-person panel discussion during the morning session. Later in the day, Omali Yeshitela pointed out that this was a good turnout based on similar events he had visited around the country. “Malcolm X is a giant of a man,” Brewer said. “We need to study him very carefully.”

“Malcolm changed my life,” said Dr. Ezra Hyland. Continue Reading →

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Blacks will suffer a ‘great hangover’ after Obama

Activist predicts a steep price to pay for the ‘catastrophe of mis-leadership’
 
By Mel Reeves 

Contributing Writer

 

Glen Ford, executive editor and chief of Black Agenda Report, will be speaking at Minneapolis North High School this Saturday as part of the first effort on the part of people of the Twin Cities to honor and educate people about the life and legacy of Malcolm X.

Ford is no stranger to the stage, having become in high demand in leftist and progressive circles. He was in Seattle last month supporting that city’s effort and the national movement for a $15 minimum wage, the $15 NOW movement. He will speak at a $15 NOW rally/meeting on Sunday in Minneapolis, and he will also speak Saturday evening at Minneapolis North High to Twin City educators about the attempt to privatize public education, on “the legacy of Brown vs. Board of Education 60 years later.”

Ford has been trying to reach people through radio and through his writing for years. “I used to use the slogan early in my career ‘merging the media, the masses and the movement.’” Ford was the Washington Bureau chief of one of the largest Black radio outlets in the country in the early ‘70s. Continue Reading →

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Amiri Baraka dies at age 79

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

In 1964, Amiri Baraka (then going by his given name LeRoi Jones) stood the American Theatre on its ear with the wildly controversial, Obie Award-winning drama Dutchman. He never equaled that success again, but his name and lasting fame had been solidly established, enhanced by the 1967 film version starring Al Freeman, Jr. (Malcolm X, Once Upon A Time…When We Were Colored) and directed by Anthony Harvey (The Lion In Winter, The Glass Menagerie). The story, a rite-of-passage saga for African American males, depicted the explosive self-realization of a young, middle-class man shattering the veneer of social convention to assert his Blackness. Baraka’s career began in the early ’60s among New York City’s bohemian elite most notably with his book Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note and his founding of Totem Press, which published the works of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. One of the most highly-regarded writers and controversial figures of his generation, he is hailed as a primary architect of the historic Black Arts Movement, which — also in the ’60s — saw the emergence of playwright Ed Bullins, poets Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez, and novelists Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and Ishmael Reed. Continue Reading →

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Nelson Mandela was both Malcolm and Martin

Nelson Mandela, the icon who led the emancipation of South Africa from White minority rule and became South Africa’s first Black president, was both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. He was an emblem of dignity and abstention. Imagine being jailed for 27 years, being humiliated and treated like dirt, and having your friends murdered systematically. Yet his incredible sense of purpose and strength is a lesson for a lifetime. I remember years ago meeting a man in flight who is not Black and has since become a friend. He was born in South Africa, finished school, and voted for Mandela for president. Continue Reading →

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Free Angela provides a brilliant, invaluable look into America’s history

 

Movie Review

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

It is sad to see how complacent we Black people have grown since the 1960s. The bourgeoisie blithely transitioned from a populace who once vowed “We Will Overcome” to a generation whose abiding principle now is “I have overcome.” You’d scarcely believe there was a time when Black America was determined to revolt against entrenched, institutionalized racism by, as Malcolm X said, any means necessary. This country’s rulers realized back then that the bill had come due. Too many African Americans were longer shuffling along, head bowed, yassuhing and no ma’aming. Too many had their shoulders squared, braced to put their feet in the nation’s behind. Continue Reading →

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