Malcolm X Day

I wish Malcolm X had a holiday, or had some streets named after him. Some years ago, a group called the “Guerilla theatre of the absurd” at Reed College printed up stickers, the size and color of street signs, saying “Malcolm X dr.”, and pasted them on all street signs of some particularly wealthy street in Portland. In essence, they did a citizen renaming of a street.

Now, a study of American history shows that the teaching and preservation of American history is grossly, horribly mangled and abused in order to maintain fealty to a kind of unifying fairy tale. As part of this process, I think Malcolm X is being forgotten, and I find that tragic.

So I’d like to propose a new holiday: From now on, let Feb. 21 be Malcolm X day! How do we celebrate Malcolm X day? We print bumper stickers, the same size, shape and color of street signs in our city, and we do a citizen of renaming of a street, or a part of a street, whatever we can pull off. We do this every year, in every city where we can find some brave soul to join the movement. When do we stop? When they rename a street in your town after Brother Malcolm. After that we can celebrate by getting out and having a parade down Malcolm X drive or Blvd.

So what do you think? We have 9 months to prepare. Start your planning. Post pictures of your civic improvements on the web!

2 thoughts on “Malcolm X Day

  1. hi,

    I am doing a classwork about Malcolm´s place in USA ¿why Malcolm is ignored by the government?¿Malcolm appears in school textbook?

  2. After writing the post, I read the English Wiki page about Malcolm X. It’s very good, and gives a more correct impression about how much attention Malcolm X gets in the U.S.

    I went to high school in the states in 1984-1988. At that time he wasn’t mentioned at all in my history classes (which were about 40% black people). I get the impression that this has changed a little bit in the last 20 years, but not a hell of a lot.

    Malcolm X started to get more attention in the public eye through popular culture, especially rap music (e.g. public enemy), and particularly through the excellent Spike Lee Film “Malcolm X”. But in the normal school curriculum I guess he’s mostly ignored. Some cities in the U.S. apparently have streets named after Malcolm X, and apparently there are even some city-wide holidays on his birthday.

    There isn’t a national holiday, nor the national recognition that Martin Luther King enjoys. This is largely because MLK’s message was much more accessible and acceptable to the white man. Malcolm X’s message and methods were much more militant than MLK’s, and that threatens people.

    It’s also true that while Malcolm X followed Elijah Mohammed, he preached segregation, which is thankfully not the way we have gone as a a nation. What I find most admirable and interesting about Malcolm X however is the fact that in his later years he reversed his thiinking on the segregation issue, and was undergoing a profound personal transformation. Here was an intelligent, articulate, strong and militant black man, who started to see through the race issues and see the underlying class problems in America (of which racial problems are a part).

    So why does Malcolm X get less attention? The short answer is he’s more threatening. He spoke of demanding rights, not asking for them. He spoke for active self-defence rather than passive resistance. MLK was christian, whereas Malcom X was muslim. Malcolm X taught that civil-rights were not the issue, rather that human rights were. He wanted blacks in America and Africa to work together to change their situation. All these things make him a less popular figure among conservative whites in America. Martin Luther King is, by comparison, a safer face for the history of black rights in America.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.