Happy Birthday, Malcolm X

“I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda. I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I am for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

He was called by Ossie Davis ‘ our shining Black prince’ and was a tireless advocate and spokesperson in our struggle against oppression and for human rights who was violently taken away from us and his family far too soon in 1965.

Today is the birthday of El-Hajj Malik El Shabazz, better known to the world as Malcolm X, and yes he’s a Taurus born in North Omaha, NE on this date in 1925.   

James Cone said something about Malcolm X in the 1991 book Malcolm and Martin and America that resonates loudly with me as I ponder the man, his words and their relevance in our 21st century human rights struggles.

“Blacks today who are proud to affirm their African heritage should thank Malcolm.  More than anyone else he created a space for them to affirm their blackness.  More than anyone else he taught Blacks that there can be no freedom in the United States without self-esteem, a high regard for themselves as Black people.”

That is true of African-American trans people as well.  Until we have love, self-esteem and high regard for ourselves as trans people of African descent, we will continue to fall short of our desire to have human rights coverage for ourselves and the love and respect of our community that we demand and deserve.

“You
don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to be is an
intelligent human being” Malcolm X,  December 20, 1964

Happy birthday, Malcolm.   Your thought provoking words still continue to inspire our people and all who seek human rights and social justice.

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