An Event Commemorating the Life of Malcolm X

Malaak and Illyasah Shabazz

Last night, I attended An Event Commemorating the Life of Malcolm X held at The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in Harlem, NY. What a wonderful evening!! The evening included spoken word performances by Monique Akinmindi and Skill Will, as well as a musical performance by Karen Taylor, who performed Nina Simone’s* “When I was a Young Girl”. Representatives from United Nile Productions were also in attendance. The Keynote speaker, introduced by Illyasah and Malaak Shabazz, daughters of Brother Malcolm and Dr. Betty Shabazz, was A. Peter Bailey, who was a close friend of Brother Malcolm and worked with him in Brother Malcolm’s Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). Bailey gave insight into working with Brother Malcom, how much Brother Malcolm paid attention to detail and his extensive knowledge of the legal system, as well as the circumstances surrounding his death. He discussed how Brother Malcolm was a “master teacher” and how that was and still is important to the community. He also spoke of how Brother Malcolm’s international travels are overlooked especially considering what he was planning with the OAAU. A Q&A sesison with Brother Bailey was held afterwards.

Below are some quotes from Brother A. Peter Bailey:
“Malcolm X’s speeches weren’t in the context of 2011. Put this speeches into the context of the times. He was responding to terrorism.”
“There’s no more important person to the community than a master teacher. (Malcolm) was a master teacher.”
“I saw a quote on the side of a building from John Madison that said ‘Knowledge will govern ignorance’. Brother Malcolm understood that.”
“‘Precious’, ‘Blind Slide’ is a psychological assault.”
“Gangsta Rap Syndrome is a psychological assault. Not rap. Rap is a part of our culture. Gangsta rap is nothing but a modern-day minstrel show.”
“Riots are random. Uprisings are a result of something happening.”
“We mistake influence for power.”
“You have to go out and search for knowledge. It’s not just gonna come to you.”

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*Nina Simone’s birthday is also February 21.
Sorry the pics are kind of blurry. I was in the back of the room.

Wednesday February 23: Literary Salon ft. Haiti Noir, edited by Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticant 6:30pm MoCADA


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