It’s Malcolm Day!

Malcolm X

As in El Hajj Malik El Shabazz

Born in 1925, our own shining Black Prince would have turned 96 today. Beyond the words Ossie Davis spoke at his funeral service; the ones his daughters have written; words his wife and fellow activist Dr. Betty Shabazz spoke, or that Malcolm himself relayed to Alex Haley in his autobiography, there is nothing more compelling that I could potentially write. I will say that the influence of this man has held me and so many others together for a long time. As I write this today, I am thinking about what he might want me to pass on to others. The Black Panther Party took up his mantle with a 10 point program to address oppression in the United States and other societies impacted by U.S. political domination. This inspired me to meditate on my own 10 points.

In what ways can I live and work so that the work of the Shabazz legacy can be honored? Because reading and writing are my jams, that’s where I started.

ONE – Race is complicated and complicating of other social constructs. Racialization occurs within gender, sexuality, and class structures. Race is about much more than skin color.
Reading
Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism
Painter’s The History of White People
Wilkerson’s Caste

TWO – Black and White racial categories are the not the only ones that perpetuate racism. We should discuss things like the myth of the model minority and white adjacency. We need to address colorism and texturism in order to fully address racism.
Reading
Khanna (ed.) Whiter
Crawford’s Dilution Anxiety and the Black Phallus
Moraga & Anzaldua (eds.) This Bridge Called My Back

THREE – We must discuss the systems that uphold oppression in the United States. These include imprisonment, schooling, housing, banking, and technology specifically.
Reading
Love’s We Want to Do More Than Survive
Jones’ An American Marriage
O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction
Noble’s Algorithms of Oppression
Alexander’s The New Jim Crow

FOUR – We need to distinguish between micro and macro aggressions. We need to define the differences between implicit and explicit bias.
Reading
Sue’s Microaggressions in Everyday Life
Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race
Cooper’s Eloquent Rage

FIVE – We need to discuss labor hierarchies as they pertain to race, gender and class structures. We need to discuss labor stereotypes how those stereotypes perpetuate oppression.
Reading
Blain and Kendi (eds.) 400 Souls
Orwell’s Animal Farm
Harts’ The Memo

SIX-TEN Coming on Dr. Betty Shabazz Day!

Who are your heroes? How do you honor them?