Omid Safi, in his Radical Justice, Gentle Spirit: Malcolm X’s Message for America 50 Years Later takes a poignant look back on this crucial speech by Malcolm X in which he speaks directly to Black about their marginalized status in America. This speech, still relevant today begs the question, are we making progress towards a more unified society?
What sets Malcolm X apart from other human rights activists like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was X’s fundamental belief that only Blacks can truly give themselves the independence and freedom that they sought and which was their right. While Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s ideologies centered on integration and nonviolence as the means by which Blacks achieved freedom – Malcolm X focused on Black consciousness – that stems from Black love, pride and acceptance as the road-map to freedom from oppressive racial conditions. He believed that if Blacks wanted freedom they would have to take it.
As we look back on history and where we are now – have we made the kind of progress we need to move us forward?
Safi, Omid (2015)Radical Justice, Gentle Spirit: Malcolm X’s Message for America 50 Years Later