malcolm x assassination

We commemorate the legacy of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, also known as Malcolm X, on the day he was assassinated, fifty years ago today, February 21, 1965.
Words cannot describe his revolutionary contributions to the struggle for liberation and self-determination. We can only witness the products of his words and actions in the work that goes on to this day by warriors who he inspired to fight and free us all from what Malcolm called, “this miserable condition that exists on this earth.” We must see in our organizing work that there are thousands upon thousands of potential Malcolm X’s, from the rotten schools to the prisons. There is hope.
He famously said, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” So we ask you, where do you stand in the face of injustice?
Rest In Power Malcolm. You will never die as long as we fight for the change you hoped to see.

February 21: 50 years since the assassination of Malcolm X, revolutionary internationalist and fighter for Black Liberation.

“It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture and can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, then capitalism has less and less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

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If you’re still under the impression that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad had Malcolm X killed, you need to update your knowledge. There is NO EXCUSE for still being deceived and, even worse, continuing to spread THAT LIE, in the midst of the information age.

J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO agents were paid to divide and confuse Black people with those lies. What’s your excuse?

Today is a special day. It’s the birthday of two very important figures in black history. Yuri Kochiyama was a Japanese American human rights activist and vocal leader in Asian American empowerment. She is notable as one of the few prominent non-black supporters of the Black Liberation Movement. It is also the birthday of Malcolm X, the famous civil rights activist.

Yuri Kochiyama and her family were rounded up by the American government and forced to live behind barbed wire during World War ll.

She participated in sit-ins and invited Freedom Riders to speak at weekly open houses in her family’s apartment.

In October of 1963, Kochiyama and her eldest son were arrested with hundreds of other people, mainly African-Americans, during a protest.

Malcolm X walked into the courthouse where activists were waiting to hear their civil disobedience charges, and he was quickly mobbed my adoring activists. Kochiyama was one of them. She felt out of place being a Japanese among blacks, but finally mustered up the courage to call out to him and say, “Can I shake your hand?”

“What for?” he demanded.

“To congratulate you for giving direction to your people,” she finally mustered.

Malcolm X smiled and extended his hand. Thus the brief friendship of Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama began.

She is pictured above, holding a recently assassinated Malcolm X as he lay dying.

Rest in Power to two very brave and extraordinary people.

~ Hannah

Sources: Wikipedia and npr.org

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February 21st 1965: Malcolm X assassinated

On this day in 1965, African-American civil rights leader Malcolm X was assassinated aged 39. Born as Malcolm Little in Nebraska in 1925, his family were forced to relocate when the Ku Klux Klan threatened his father, who was active in the black nationalist movement. Malcolm’s father was ultimately murdered by white supremacists - but the white police insisted it was suicide - and the family disintegrated. The young Malcolm dropped out of school and became involved in crime, eventually going to prison for burglary in 1946. While imprisoned, he was exposed to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, who argued that the white man is the devil and cannot live peaceably with blacks, who should establish a separate black nation. Malcolm was powerfully affected by this ideology, and changed his last name to reject the ‘slave’ name he had been given. After his release from prison, Malcolm X became a preacher in New York, calling for black self-defence against white aggression. His eloquent advocacy of black nationalism and the neccessity of securing civil rights “by any means necessary”, including violence, made him a respected, but also feared, figure. Malcolm X was feared by white and black Americans, as some civil rights activists worried that his more radical message threatened the strategy of non-violence espoused by Martin Luther King Jr.. While his fame contributed to the Nation of Islam’s growing popularity, Malcolm began to split from the organisation, disillusioned by Elijah Muhammad’s hypocrisy and alleged corruption. He formally left the organisation in 1964, and visited Mecca, an experience which tempered his rhetoric and led him to abandon the argument that whites are devils. At this point, Malcolm changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, returning to America influenced by socialism and pan-Africanism and more hopeful for a peaceful resolution to America’s race problems. As he was preparing to speak at a rally for his recently-founded Organisation of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City, Malcolm X was shot 15 times by three members of the Nation of Islam. In death, his legacy loomed large over the civil rights movement, and African-American activists increasingly urged black power for black people. Malcolm X remains one of the most famous and respected figures of the civil rights movement, and his seminal autobiography is considered one of the most important books of the twentieth century.

“We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”

Today in Black History for February 21st
  1. 1992 - Eva Jessye choral director for the first Broadway production of Porgy and Bess died in Ann Arbor, Michigan Feb. 21, 1992.

  2. 1987 - Black Rebellion in Tampa, Florida
    African Americans in Tampa, Florida rebelled after an African American man was killed by a white police officer while in custody.

  3. 1965 - Malcolm X (39) assassinated in Audubon Ballroom at a rally of his organization. Three Blacks were later convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment.

  4. 1961 - Otis Boykin patents the Electrical Resistor
    Otis Boykin, Inventor, patented the Electrical Resistor. U.S. 2,972,726 He is responsible for inventing the electrical device used in all guided missiles and IBM computers, plus 26 other electronic devices including a control unit for an artificial heart stimulator (pacemaker). He began his career as a laboratory assistant testing automatic controls for aircraft. One of Boykin’s first achievements was a type of resistor used in computers, radios, television sets, and a variety of electronic devices. Some of his other inventions included a variable resistor used in guided missiles, small component thick-film resistors for computers. The innovations in resistor design reduced the cost of producing electronic controls for radio and television, for both military and commercial applications. Other inventions by Otis Boykin also included a burglarproof cash register and chemical air filter.

  5. 1940 - John Lewis, founder and chairman of SNCC, born

  6. 1936 - Barbara Jordan born
    2/21/1936: On this day Barbara Jordan, who will be the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives, is born

  7. 1933 - Nina Simone born
    Nina Simone (Eunice Waymon), 66, singer (“I Love You Porgy,” “Trouble in Mind”) born Tryon, NC, Feb 21, 1933.

  8. 1917 - Thelonious Monk, jazz great born
    Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917–82) Jazz musician; born in Rocky Mount, N.C. He was raised in New York

  9. 1895 - North Carolina Legislature adjourns
    North Carolina Legislature, dominated by Black Republicans and white Populists, adjourned for the day to mark the death of Frederick Douglass.
A. Peter Bailey's response to the Assassination of Malcolm X, 1965

“The following is exactly what I wrote 48 years ago in response to the assassination of Brother Malcolm:

Bro. Malcolm X has been assassinated. Once again, as has happened many times in U.S. history, a black man who was considered a threat to the white racist system has been murdered by other black men. Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, Marcus Garvey and countless other black leaders were all destroyed by blacks working in alliance with the white power structure. We have to assume it was an alliance because the FBI and local police force and the press have constantly bragged that they have infiltrated the Black Muslim movement, thus they know every move the Black Muslims make. It this be true, and they are the ones who made the claims, then they are either lying about the infiltration or they knew that Bro. Malcolm’s life was in danger and made no attempt to stop the plotters. It is the same situation with the Ku Klux Klan. The FBI constantly brag that they have infiltrated the Klan, yet the Klan has been able to continue its campaign of brutality, harassment and lynching against black people. Again the question is if the Klan is infiltrated how are they able to operate so successfully? The FBI and the police force have almost completely immobilized the Communist Party and successful infiltration; only recently they and the NYC police force were able to infiltrate a small group of black men and accuse them of plotting the bombing of certain monuments. Yet now they and the press want us to believe that an organization, which claimed had been infiltrated by agents, plotted a crime of gigantic magnitude without the infiltrator finding out about it. It is no doubt that if the Black Muslims had planned to bomb or assassinate Wagner or some other comparable figures, they would have been halted before any such plan could succeed. The press is having a field day. It’s all so simple, a feud between the Black Muslims and Bro. Malcolm. Everything is in a tight little package. There are many of us who believe that there are others who desired the death of Bro. Malcolm. For instance those people who had him banned from France, those same people who worried about the effects of his trips abroad, those same people who dreaded the consequences of his trips South. He had spoken in Alabama and was due to speak in Mississippi. These people also would benefit from the removal of Malcolm X. He didn’t fir their pattern. He didn’t waste time criticizing Wallace, Barnett, Clark, Bull Conner and other individual villains speaking for white supremacy. He recognized that these men were products of an evil system, a system which has, for over 350 years, treated non-white people as sub-humans. He recognized that the above individuals were able to operate so freely because the system allowed them to do so. He realized that the power of the racists in Washington is so strong that they can block enforcement of any Civil Rights law. They might not be able to block the law from passing, but they could lock enforcement and laws without the desire and determination for enforcement are meaningless. He knew that powerful racists in the federal government had veto power over the selection of judges and that as long as they held this power, laws are totally meaningless. You let me select the judges and I don’t care what kind of laws you pass. The current situation in Selma is a perfect example of this lack of enforcement.

The Civil Rights law passed in July 1964 was hailed by the press and others as The Supreme accomplishment. Now no more laws would be needed. Voting rights were guaranteed. Bro. Malcolm attacked this belief. He called the laws a fraud. Selma has proven him right. Hundreds of black people are being beaten and jailed for attempting, not to vote, but to register to vote. What is the response of the federal government? Strict enforcement of the recently passed law. No! The arresting of brutal local law officers. No! It’s the same tired call for more laws. 

Bro. Malcolm saw those things occurring and recognizing that the federal government was either unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property of black people, he called for a new approach. Domestically, he told black people to unite and adopt a program of self-defense: internationally, he called for black people to look elsewhere for allies in the struggle for human rights. He said that our struggle is only a part of the worldwide struggle where formerly oppressed people were throwing off oppression and asserting themselves. He told us to make use of the U.N., especially the Commission on Human Rights, as other minority groups have done, most notable the Russian Jews. He traveled throughout Africa, the Middle East and Europe telling any group who would listen that black people in the U.S. needed their help in their struggle for human rights. He felt that Afro-Americans have a psychological complex about being a minority and that if they tied their struggle to the struggles of oppressed people throughout the world, it would help them, psychologically, in their own struggle. 

These two approaches by Bro. Malcolm, the call for self-defense and the internationalizing of the racial struggle, profoundly disturbed the power structure and their allies. They first tried to brand him as a wild man advocating violence. I heard him speak publicly and privately many times and I never heard him tell black people to roam the streets indiscriminately shooting whites. He only called for self-defense, which is a basic element in all human society. His specific words were: “In those areas where the federal government is either unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property of black people, then black people should prepare to defend themselves.” Hardly a statement advocating violence. I would called it a reasonable statement. The Human Rights Struggle is already a violent movement; the violence all being committed by the white supremacists.

When Bro. Malcolm traveled abroad, they had their people watch him. They feared his eloquent and well-documented speeches to friendly audiences. Newspapers cooperated by completely blacking out reports of his travels abroad; newspaper columnists dropped hints about taking away his passport and by attempting to brand him a communist. They finally had him banned from speaking at a rally in France. He wasn’t even allowed by the French bureaucrats to contact the American embassy in Paris. He told us when he commented on the official that he didn’t know that France has become a satellite of the U.S., the man blushed and implied that the American embassy was involved in the ban. Incidentally, Bro. Malcolm said that the French Communist Party had refused to allow the rally to be held in their hall and had put pressure on other owners to deny their halls. All of these things make us feel that there are others who desire and would benefit from the removal of Bro. Malcolm.

Bro. Malcolm was a considerate man, the most considerate man I had ever known. The press gleefully took his words out of context and tried to paint him as a monster when reporting his death. They claimed credit for there even being a Malcolm X. They scoffed at him by saying that he had a handful of followers, and, as one said, he had built up a myth. They were practically dancing over his body. The New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune, those pious, hypocritical prostitutes of the daily press, gave Zeus-like editorials about what a terrible man he was, the Herald Tribune saying that he was no loss to the Civil Rights movement. It must be said that the press devoted a fantastic amount of space and time to the death of such an “Insignificant” man. Their very press coverage of his death and the reaction of the people and others leaders showed that the Human Rights Movement suffered a considerable loss with the assassination of this articulate, forceful black man. He even presented an image that white America is not used to seeing in black men. They resented and feared not only what he was doing, but even more so the potential of what he could do in the future. Bro. Malcolm pointed this out very clearly when he told an antagonist on a radio program that if people like him would spend more time helping and protecting Rev. Martin Luther King and his followers and less time searching for material with which to attack him and other nationalists, the U.S. would be a better place to live.

Bro. Malcolm was a considerate man, a man who was always courteous to the people who worked with him. On the day that he was assassinated I spoke with him. He called me to the room where he was waiting for the rally to begin. this man who the press tries to paint as a monster called me backstage because he wanted to apologize for having spoken sharply to me the previous Saturday. He really hadn’t but he thought that he had called me backstage to apologize. He said that he had just been slightly upset. This is only one example of many such considerate acts that he did for people who worked for him. We talked of several other things in that room. I was one of the last five people that he spoke to before being assassinated. He was not feeling well and he mentioned to me that “The way I feel today I shouldn’t even be speaking publicly.” The press has combined with the police to tell so many lies about that day. One paper said that whites were banned from the rally; a lie only the press was banned; another said that an ambulance came to get him; another lie, we had to send two brothers over to the hospital to get a stretcher, which they brought back to the ballroom and placed Bro. Malcolm upon it and rolled him through the streets to the hospital. The brothers also reported that doctors refused to come to the ballroom; Bro. Malcolm laid on that ballroom stage for over 20 minutes. They say the police rushed right into the hall; another lie. I was sitting in the rear of the hall watching the entrance for the speaker who was expected. After hearing four shots I ran into the main hall, looked up front, saw nothing but confusion. The place sounded like a battlefield. I then ducked back out with groups of people running towards me and ducked into the bathroom, as the side area to avoid the shots. Then immediately after the last shots I ran out of the bathroom and down the center of the totally wrecked hall to the stage. Jumping onto the stage I saw Bro. Malcolm lying on the stage floor with bullet holes all over his chest. I leaned over him and saw that his skin was already getting that deathly look. There were several people administering to him when I got to the stage. I went into the room where others were holding his wife. I told her that someone had gone for the doctor, not knowing whether this was true or not. I then jumped from the stage and started to the rear of the hall to see if a doctor was on the way. It was then, almost ¾ of the way down the hall that I saw the first two cops and those two were just walking through the hall as though they were on a Sunday stroll. This, despite the fact that people were still screaming, crying and the place looked like a battlefield. I can categorically say that the police did not immediately react to the assassination in a professional way. The press lied about that too. And now members of the press have asked the police how a place so thoroughly guarded as the Mosque could be burned down so effectively. The press reporting after Bro. Malcolm’s assassination had been so blatantly an attempt to encourage blood-letting and suspicion among militant black groups that very few people in the black community have been fooled.”

Taken from “Witnessing Brother Malcolm X: The Master Teacher: A Memoir” By A. Peter Bailey. (pgs 110-119)

“When I am dead—I say it that way because from the things I know, I do not expect to live long enough to read this book in its finished form—I want you to just watch and see if I’m not right in what I say: that the white man, in his press, is going to identify me with “hate.” He will make use of me dead, as he has made use of me alive, as a convenient symbol, of “hatred”—and that will help him escape facing the truth that all I have been doing is holding up a mirror to reflect, to show, the history of unspeakable crimes that his race has committed against my race.” Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Amama Shahidina (Oliver-centric; G)

Summary: Missing (and badly needed) scene from 4x13. The moment Nyssa is declared Ra’s al Ghul, she decides to take matters into her own hands regarding her marital status, calling upon Laurel and Felicity to be the witnesses.

Ships: Laurel & Nyssa, Laurel/Nyssa, Oliver & Nyssa, Oliver/Felicity

A/N: The title translates into “in front of two witnesses” in Arabic. Just to be clear - we’ve seen in the show that the League operates with a pseudo-Islamic kind of faith (the evil kind that does not line up with actual Islam), so the process of divorce is loosely based on that - “loosely” being the operative word. It’s by no means identical and that’s deliberate. Just fyi.

Read at AO3

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“You are Ra’s al Ghul,” Oliver says as he hands the ring over to Nyssa. At the same time, he takes the lotus from her.

“Thank you, husband.”

He’s heard that word many times in the last day alone, and even now he has to conceal his wince as Nyssa puts the ring on.

“Ra’s,” the League members say in unison, kneeling immediately. Oliver bows his head, following suit, not just in respect but in shame for handing the ring to Malcolm in the first place.

Then the moment passes and Oliver clears his throat. “If you’ll excuse me, Nyssa… my sister needs the Lotus.”

To his surprise, Nyssa shakes her head. “We have one matter to attend to – my first decree as Ra’s al Ghul.”

“Nyssa, Thea is dying,” Laurel starts to say, and perhaps even more unexpectedly, Nyssa beckons for Laurel to join them.

“This will not take long. I require your presence, Laurel. As a witness.”

But Laurel doesn’t budge, instead folding her arms in defiance. “Is that an order?”

And somehow Nyssa softens a little – Oliver can tell from the way her shoulders become less rigid and the hardened steel in her eyes seems to disappear in an instant.

“No. Merely a request.” After a moment’s thought, Nyssa adds, “A request from a friend to bear witness to something important.”

Laurel sighs and with reluctance, she says, “Fine.”

“Miss Smoak, your presence is also required, if you please,” Nyssa adds. When Oliver meets Felicity’s eyes (her brow is furrowed in a deep frown), he tries to nod assuringly at her, and she wheels herself forward alongside Laurel. John steps forward too, and when Oliver gives him a nod, John goes to stand over Malcolm, make sure he doesn’t try anything.

“I remember you told me once that if you ever became Ra’s, you would do away with the whole kneeling thing,” Laurel comments. “You said it was demeaning.”

Nyssa nods. “Indeed it is.” She turns to address her army. “On your feet.” Then her gaze drops to Malcolm still keeling over in pain. “Apart from you, As-Saher.”

“Nyssa,” Oliver begins, but she holds her hand up to stop him.

“Al-Saheem, ana ismi Nyssa bint Ra’s al Ghul, wa amama shahidina: talaq, talaq, talaq.”

“What…” Felicity says, clearly as confused as Oliver is.

“It means she’s divorced you,” Laurel says before Nyssa can say anything. Oliver and Felicity both raise their eyebrows together in surprise. “What? I do read, you know.”

Oliver looks Nyssa in the eyes. “Is that true? Did you just -”

“Under League law, it is customary for the male to undertake the divorce proceedings, and only then at the behest of Ra’s himself. Since I now hold that title, I call for a change in that ancient custom - and an end to a marriage I never wanted to enter into.”

“That makes three of us,” Felicity says under her breath.

“All of us,” Laurel adds.

“I did not think it possible for this to happen without the death of As-Saher,” Nyssa says, “but it did.”

“Which means you’re not going to try and kill him?” Oliver asks.

“To kill him now would be mere gluttony.”

“It would,” Oliver agrees.

“You’re going to wish you killed me, Oliver,” Malcolm wheezes, “because when I get my hands on you -”

His words are cut off, however, as John punches him in the face and knocks him out.

“I’ve been wanting to do that for years,” John says, breathing heavily.

“So have I,” Laurel and Felicity say at the same time. Oliver shakes his head.

“So… does this mean you’re going to stop calling my future husband your husband?” Felicity asks. Oliver smiles, then (there’s something about Felicity being possessive that always totally does it for him), and so does Nyssa.

“Gladly, Miss Smoak. Gladly.”

“Good,” Felicity says, “because my future sister-in-law’s life is kinda hanging in the balance here.”

“Let’s go,” Laurel says. But Oliver watches as Nyssa catches Laurel’s sleeve.

“I will make things right, Laurel. I promise.”

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