by The People’s Minister of Information JR
This upcoming week, on May 19, we will celebrate the 90th birthday of the late great El Hajj Malik El Shabazz aka our beloved Malcolm X, all over the world. But what will not be talked about in most of these celebrations, unrightfully so, will be the murder of his grandson, Malcolm Latif Shabazz two years earlier on May 10, 2013.
How could we love a man who fought for the human rights of Black and oppressed people around the world but not care what happened in the mysterious assassination of his grandson in Mexico City? For most people this is a contradiction that they would rather shrug off as irrelevant, rather than try to face the truth of the matter, which is that they don’t care about either Malcolm or the Shabazz family; they just relish the residue of comfort that big Malcolm’s work has provided them.
Here at the Bay View we are going to keep on keeping on with remembering and honoring the work of both Malcolms: One we know from the pages of our Pan African history, and the younger Malcolm I knew because I spent a lot of time living, talking, studying and travelling with him. Once again, I wanted to bring to the paper Malcolm Latif Shabazz’s imam to talk to you about what this generation’s Malcolm was all about.
Here is Hashim Aluddeen’s perspective on Malcolm Shabazz, who was affectionately known as Young Malcolm, on the second anniversary of his assassination.
M.O.I. JR: Can you talk about what you remember most about Malcolm Shabazz on the second anniversary of his murder?
Hashim: His beautiful smile. He, like his grandfather, Malcolm X, both had a piercing smile, which for me expressed their love and sincerity for their people and the struggle. No matter what people say about Young Malcolm, they can never say that he was not about his peoples. From the hood to the university, Malcolm was at all events pushing our African or Black agenda forward.
M.O.I. JR: For those that did not know him, what was his personality like? What kinds of things did he like?
Hashim: That’s an interesting question. I remember reading an interview with Afeni Shakur after the assassination of her son, Tupac, and in that interview they asked her the same question concerning Pac. And she said Pac was like Bunchy Carter in spirit – the assassinated Black Panther Party leader of Los Angles.
I believe Malcolm in many ways had the personality traits of Bunchy Carter from a revolutionary streets perspective and was like his grandfather in the loving and caring perspective. What he liked was playing basketball and chess.
He used to beat me in chess in four moves. I said where did you learn that? And he said from the OGs in prison. He had a very quick mind. Also he loved to eat his mother’s food. But I can say most of the time he spent talking about Islam and how to help Black people.
M.O.I. JR: What is the importance of Hajj to the Muslim world? Can you talk a little bit about his Hajj to Mecca?
Hashim: Hajj to Mecca is one of the pillars of Islam and a place for spiritual purification. For Young Malcolm, this trip was very similar to his grandfather’s in that it allowed him to purify himself before his Lord and begin a new life.
Hajj for him and others is a spiritual metamorphosis which takes one from the veils of darkness to the pure light. Malcolm’s heart had transformed and, when he returned, you were able to see the transition.
M.O.I. JR: Can you talk a little bit about the trip we made to Libya? What effect did going to Africa have on Malcolm?
Hashim: After the trip to Mecca, Malcolm was influenced by his trip to Libya. He was honored to meet the family members of other revolutionaries like Patrice Lumumba and Kwame Nkumah. Without exception he was thrilled to have a moment to meet Qaddafi. He was touched when Qaddafi showed love and respect to his grandfather Malcolm. The effect of Africa on Malcolm – like the Hajj – helped him to place two important elements in place for his life, Islam and Africa.
M.O.I. JR: What was Malcolm doing when he was traveling around the country?
Hashim: Malcolm was traveling around trying to educate, unite and spread the word of the conditions of African Americans. If he were alive today, he would be at every protest from Ferguson to Baltimore screaming, “Justice!” Malcolm was doing this work for our people before it became the vogue to say “Black lives Matter.”
M.O.I. JR: Can you talk a little bit about his relationship with people like M1 and Mac Mall?
Hashim: Malcolm had nothing but love for both of these artists. He loved to kick it with M1 and Rob down in Miami. They was down there putting in work on the East Coast. He loved the fact that M was revolutionary and gangster.
When he met Mac Mall, he was extremely hyped up ‘cause he loved the fact that Mall had a deep love for Black people in the hood. His music and work in the hood Malcolm admired. He really wanted to spend more time with both and find new ways of using hip hop to educate the masses instead of this wack anti-hip hop music of today.
M.O.I. JR: Why do Muslims around the world relate to Young Malcolm?
Hashim: Malcolm is the son of a martyr and in Islam the martyr is one who should be honored and loved. We should take care of the family of the martyr. Malcolm X is a martyr in Islam, so his family is a priority for Muslims. That’s why they made a billboard in Iran honoring Young Malcolm as a Martyr.
M.O.I. JR: This year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, aka Malcolm X. Why is his image so prevalent in today’s society? What role does Malcolm Shabazz play in this legacy?
Hashim: Young Malcolm lived the legacy of his grandfather and lost his life in the process. That’s why we love and honor him.
I told Malcolm that he and LeBron James are two important people for this generation. Difference is that LeBron, Jay Z, Beyonce are the keepers of the Gate; they are influencing our youth to a life of materialism, mental slavery and debauchery, while Young Malcolm was pushing the legacy of his grandfather: freedom, spirituality and independence.
Young Malcolm lived the legacy of his grandfather and lost his life in the process. That’s why we love and honor him.
Fifty years later, the legacy continues and a new generation will soon see through the veil of these modern day Uncle Toms and keepers of the Gate. What we see that is happening in cities like Baltimore and others is a sign that 50 years later Malcolm X’s philosophy and methodology is still alive.
We have a saying in the Quran 2:154: “And do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah, ‘They are dead.’ Rather, they are alive, but you perceive [it] not.”
The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.