Malcom X

by blowfish

Malcolm X stressed the global perspective he had gained from his international travels. He emphasized the “direct connection” between the domestic struggle of African Americans for equal rights with the liberation struggles of Third World nations.[183] He said that African Americans were wrong when they thought of themselves as a minority; in a global context, black people were a majority, not a minority.[184]

Although he no longer called for the separation of black people from white people, Malcolm X continued to advocate black nationalism, which he defined as self-determination for the African American community.[185] In the last months of his life, however, Malcolm X began to reconsider his support of black nationalism after meeting northern African revolutionaries who, to all appearances, were white.[186]

After his Hajj, Malcolm X articulated a view of white people and racism that represented a deep change from the philosophy he articulated as a minister of the Nation of Islam. In a famous letter from Mecca, he wrote that the white people he had met during his pilgrimage had forced him to “rearrange” his thinking about race and “toss aside some of [his] previous conclusions”.[187]

In a 1965 conversation with Gordon Parks, two days before his assassination, Malcolm said:

[L]istening to leaders like Nasser, Ben Bella, and Nkrumah awakened me to the dangers of racism. I realized racism isn’t just a black and white problem. It’s brought bloodbaths to about every nation on earth at one time or another.

Brother, remember the time that white college girl came into the restaurant — the one who wanted to help the [Black] Muslims and the whites get together — and I told her there wasn’t a ghost of a chance and she went away crying? Well, I’ve lived to regret that incident. In many parts of the African continent I saw white students helping black people. Something like this kills a lot of argument. I did many things as a [Black] Muslim that I’m sorry for now. I was a zombie then — like all [Black] Muslims — I was hypnotized, pointed in a certain direction and told to march. Well, I guess a man’s entitled to make a fool of himself if he’s ready to pay the cost. It cost me 12 years.

That was a bad scene, brother. The sickness and madness of those days — I’m glad to be free of them.[188]