On this day, 90 years ago, Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska.
Without a doubt one of the greatest working-class revolutionaries in American history, he fought tirelessly for his own liberation (transforming from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X to el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz), the liberation of Black Americans, and the liberation of oppressed and disenfranchised peoples everywhere.
The true embodiment of an organic intellectual, self-educated in prison with an internship on the streets, Malcolm traveled the world speaking truth to power. His oratories were sharp and precise, backed by a mountain of knowledge, and delivered with masterful ease. His words represented verbal daggers to racists and oppressors worldwide; and buoys of hope and pride to the disenfranchised and “wretched of the earth.”
While presidents, politicians, and self-proclaimed “leaders” come and go, desperately clinging to relevance and contrived importance in whitewashed and corporatized history books, the true champions capture the hearts of the people. We recognize their authenticity, we feel their genuineness, and they live within us. We know who they are, and we know who they are not.
Malcolm X captured our hearts. He lives within us.