malcolm x's daughters

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Malcom X and three of his six daughters, pictured here with Muhammad Ali, who was a father of nine. 

Ali, who died last Friday (June 3, 2016), wrote that one of his most regrettable mistakes was shunning Malcolm after Malcolm broke with the Nation of Islam. “Turning my back on Malcolm,” Ali wrote in his 2004 autobiography, ‘The Soul of a Butterfly,’ “was one of the mistakes that I regret most in my life. I wish I’d been able to tell Malcolm I was sorry, that he was right about so many things. But he was killed before I got the chance.” Malcolm was murdered in 1965. “Malcolm X was a great thinker and an even greater friend,” Ali wrote. “I might never have become a Muslim if it hadn’t been for Malcolm. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would never have turned my back on him.” 

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NOTES: Thanks to TASHABILITIES here on tumblr, The Fatherhood Project learned that Betty Shabazz, Malcolm’s wife and the girls’ mother, was sitting next to her husband and daughters in this photo but for some reasson (sexism?) she is cropped out of nearly all versions and variations of it. However, The Fatherhood Project found a version with her in it and has added it to this post. 

The photographer of the photos is believed to be Civil Rights era photographer Robert L. Haggins, who was also Malcolm’s personal photographer from roughly 1959 to 1965. The date of this photo is unknown to TFP.

Malcolm X's Daughter's Interesting Take on the N Word

I agree with her, somewhat (I think she could have elaborated a bit better). I find it rather interesting that some African Americans claim they’re reclaiming the word by using it on themselves so much. Actually, what the constant N word use is proof of, is a capitulation to the pressure of living in a white supremacist society. It is literally a case of “There’s nothing I can do about it. So, I might as well accept it and even embrace it and pretend that it’s a positive.” It reminds me of the scene in Roots where Kunta Kinte is being flogged and told his name is Toby and he resists, but after so many floggings capitulates and begins to call himself Toby.

Kind of like the joy that people take in calling themselves “field negroes”, thinking that is a good thing. Not knowing that they’ve consciously or subconsciously accepted the identity of being in a state of captivity, no control over one’s existence and perpetual suffering and mediocrity as their lot in life.

The N word is a reductive word. It minimizes even when used in a friendly manner. It is something you use on someone you don’t think too much of, are trying to bring down to size or whose presence you aren’t impressed by. So, to claim to be reclaiming it, when many who use it on themselves would flip out if used on them by someone non-black is evidence of the fact that you can’t reclaim it.

Use of it on yourselves is just evidence that a very long time ago (and till this day), many black people in the United States had been broken by the oppression imposed on them and had accepted it as their God ordained place in life. And many black people still do. They’re offended and annoyed when as a black person you speak properly to them. They tell you you’re “acting white”. They get pissed off when you want to take responsibility. They claim you’re “showing out”. As Harriet Tubman herself said, “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”. A lot are in psychological bondage.

Masters at telling themselves convenient lies in order to move on with their lives, as dealing with everything all at once can sometimes prove to be overwhelming for some. Let’s be honest with ourselves you can’t be re-purposing a word you didn’t create, in a language you didn’t create and of which you aren’t the main speakers. When Oxford dictionary decides to add a word to the dictionary they do so at their own discretion. They don’t check with black people first. So, quit lying to yourself about it

Think about it this way. Have you ever heard a white person be upset that a black person is calling another black person the N word? Now, what you have heard is a white person upset that they can’t call you the N word, right? Further, when you call yourself a king or a God, does that make white people uncomfortable?

If a white person is comfortable with you calling yourself an N word, uncomfortable with not being able to call you the N word and uncomfortable with you calling yourself a king/queen or God; what makes you think black people have or can actually reclaim the N word? N word usage didn’t start with hip hop. Its use among black people has a lengthy history and its proof of the psychological number oppression did on the psychology of black people in Amerikkka. Stop lying to yourselves about the N word. You can’t reclaim that which you didn’t put into existence.

Muhammad Ali holding Malcolm X’s daughter Qubilah, surrounded by young fans at his training camp in Miami, January 1964.

The kids are holding up 8 fingers because Muhammad predicated he’d win the World Heavyweight Championship fight against Sonny Liston in 8 rounds as the underdog. The defending champ Liston predicted he’d win in 2. Ali ended up winning in 7 rounds on February 25, 1964.