This didn’t happen in South Africa, it happened right here in America in Birmingham, Alabama. It didn’t happen back in the Dark Ages, it happened in 1963 right after the march on Washington. And it wasn’t a dream. This was a nightmare. Where were the leaders? Where was America? Where was the government?

The government was guilty. The guilt is upon the United States government for the murder of those four little girls who died in that bombing. The guilt was upon the United States government for those little boys who were shot down right afterwards. Because it is the failure of the government to do its job that has given the people of that area the feeling that they can brutalize and victimize and murder the Afro-American in cold blood knowing that nothing will be done about it. The government was guilty. The government still is guilty, and will always be guilty until the murderers of those little girls have been brought to justice.

Malcolm X on the 1963 Birningham church bombings where 4 little girls were killed and on the murder of young Black teens by policemen right afterwards.

Taken from the Robert F. Williams CD audio documentary “Self-Defense, Self-Respect & Self-Determination.”

(via disciplesofmalcolm)


Malcolm X “taught us that racism is not an aberration of individual white folks.” While the civil-rights approach was based on the assumption that whites could be shamed out of racism, he says, Malcolm considered racism “an integral part of the system.”

“Those speeches – those harsh, brilliant speeches that he was making in the early ’60s – you have to think of the times. In 1963 alone, Medgar Evers was shot down, that church was bombed in Birmingham that killed those four little girls, the fire hoses, the dogs,” Bailey says.

“He was verbally expressing the intense anger that a lot of black people felt but were afraid to say it. And I think his anger was righteous anger, because the government was saying, ‘There’s nothing we can do. That’s the states.’ ”

Peter Bailey (he worked with Malcolm X) on Malcolm’s legacy.

Source: http://undercoverblackman.blogspot.com/2007/05/malcolms-disciple.html

(via disciplesofmalcolm)

The organization of Afro-American Unity, in cooperation with a coalition of other Negro leaders and organizations, has decided to elevate our freedom struggle above the domestic level of civil rights. We inted to internationalize it by placing it at the level of human rights. Our freedom struggle for human dignity is no longer confined to the domestic jurisdiction of the United States government. We beseech the independent African States to help us bring our problem before the United Nations on the grounds that the U.S. government is morally incapable of protecting the lives and property of twenty-two million African Americans… . We assert the right of self-defense by whatever means necessary and reserve our right of maximum retaliation against our racist oppressors no matter what the odds are against us.

Malcolm X

Taken from Rodnell P. Collins [nephew of Macolm X] with A. Peter Bailey’s “Seventh Child: Malcolm X” (Pages 172-173)  

(via disciplesofmalcolm)


We believe Mrs. Du Bois knew about the severe pressures on Malcolm, since she had seen her husband experience somewhat similar ones from government agencies. The pressures culminated in two ominous incidents occurring less than two weeks before he was assasinated. The first was his being banned from France on February 9, 1965. He was scheduled to speak at a rally sponsored by the OAAU affiliate in Paris and to meet privately with several African and Asian freedom fighters. When he disembarked from the plane at Paris’s Orly Field after a flight from London, French officials were waiting. Without even letting him go to the terminal to make a phone call, they put him on another plane that took him back to London. Many people, including Ma [Malcolm X’s half-sister Ella Collins] and me, belived that the French government acted upon a request from the U.S. State Department, which was aware of the purpose of Uncle Malcom’s visit. Later, Ma was told that that was not the case. In fact, the French government, knowing of the CIA’s plans to eliminate Malcolm, had double-crossed the United States. “They didn’t want any action taken against Malcolm on French soil,” Ma explained. “They knew about the failed attempt to kill him by poisoning when he was in Africa and were concerned tha another attempt would be made on his life in Paris, an attempt that would be blamed on French colonialists angry about Malcolm’s close relationship with Ahmed Ben Bella.” Ben Bella was an Algerian nationalist detested by those who wanted to maintain French control of his country. For that reason and because of France’s concern about his scheduled private meetings with the freedom fighters, de Gaulle declared Malcolm persona non grata.

The second ominous event, the firebombing of Malcolm’s home in the East Elmhust, Queens, section of New york City, occured five days later, on February 14, 1965. It was particularly ominous because for the first time the lives of Malcolm’s pregnant wife and four young daughters were directly endangered. Ma and I sped to New york City from Boston the minute we heard about the cowardly attack. Ma barely spoke as we made our way to the city. I was seething with anger, as any nineteen-year-old would be, vowing to exact revenge on those who had attacked my uncle, aunt, and cousins. We knew that some in the Nation were enraged about Malcolm’s responses to questions about Mr. Muhammad’s out-of-wedlock babies, but we really didn’t bleive they would attack a pregnant woman and small children.

Those two incidents, happening so close together, confirmed that the threat to Malcolm had increased dramatically. It was both infuriating and frustrating for those of us close to Malcolm to be so aware of the threat but so helpless to do something about it. Ma actually began reconsidering plans to kidnap him and move him to a place where he would be safer. That she would even contemplate such an utterly impractical plan illustrates the depth of her concern. “I was absolutely convinced that a live, less visible Malcolm was more important to us in the long run than a martyred Malcolm,” Ma told me later.

Government agencies, as we later learned from FBI files, gleefully wanted and in some cases orchestrated the move on Malcolm. They were the puppeteers, with N.O.I. operatives acting as willing puppets.

On the government’s role in the assassination of Malcolm X. As told by Rodnell P. Collins [nephew of Macolm X] with A. Peter Bailey in “Seventh Child: Malcolm X” (Pages 180-182)

What MMI [Muslim Mosque Incorporated] would be for those who shared Uncle Malcolm’s religious beliefs, the OAAU [Organization of Afro-American Unity] would be for those who shared his belief in the need for an organization whose goal was not a nebulous integration but group and individual self-respect, self-determination, self-defense, educational achievement, and political, economic, and cultural empowerment. Ma [Malcolm’s half-sister Ella Collins] and I had heard Uncle Malcolm often speak privately about his plans for the OAAU, but it was during a speech in Boston in June 1964 that we first heard him speak publicly about the new organization. The OAAU and MMI chapters in Boston were the first organized outside New York City. Several hundred people, including family members, were in attendance. They had many questions for him to address since publicly announcing his plans. What kind of relationship would the OAAU have with Africa? How could they help the Africans while at the same time helping themselves? could he explain the difference between human rights and civil rights? Most were ready to follow Malcolm but wanted to know where he was going to lead them. “Even though we have every right to be angry at the white man for the injustices he has infilcted on us,” Malcolm said in his stentorian voice, “for us to receive freedom, justice, and equality, we should never act out of hate, greed, anger, or revenge. That is how the white man does things. We must act in defense of our human rights by any means necessary. We must take our case to the World Court and accuse the United States government of violating and not protecting our human rights.”

His statement about going to the World Court electrified the audience, eliciting enthusiastic applause and shouts of approval. Ma was pleased both with his statement and the audience’s reaction. She said, “He was finally speaking for himself, for his own beliefs. There was no more the Honorable Elijah Muhammad says this; the Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that. I was certain that Malcolm would do an even better job in building the OAAU than he had done with the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm recited to us, “America has never accepted us as human beings. Thus, it is not interested in human rights for you and me. Yet she claims to be for human rights in Africa, Asia, and South America. She sends Peace Corps workers all over the world. Why? Why doesn’t she send them to places like Harlem, Boston, Los Angeles, Little Rock, Mississippi, Alabama? I’ll tell you why. America is hypocritical in her racism. Look at South Africa. The only difference between the white racist government of South Africa and that of America is that they preach and practice segregation while America preaches integration and practices segregation. America supports South Africa’s denial of human rights for black Africans.” By that time, Ma said with a smile, “the government informats in the audience, and you can bet they were there, were probably squirming and anxious to report to their handlers.”

After leaving the Nation of Islam, Malcolm began thinking for himself, founded the MMI and the OAAU, and grew intellectuality on many different levels. As told by Rodnell P. Collins [nephew of Macolm X] with A. Peter Bailey in “Seventh Child: Malcolm X” (Pages 160-161)
The CIA and the FBI, having thoroughly infiltrated the Nation using ultrasophisticated surveillance equipment, were also aware of Malcolm’s willingness to speak with clarity and righteous anger about the true nature of race relations in America. They were even more aware of, and concerned about, his ability to make a direct connection between the struggle against white supremacy in the United States and the struggle against colonialism then being waged in both Africa and Asia. The agencies considered his truth telling about the connection between white supremacy and colonialism, especially to foreigners at the height of the cold war, as a threat to the security of the United States. For instance, Malcolm was co-chairmen of a Harlem, New York, welcoming committee, including Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., which had invited President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana to Harlem in 1958. President Nkrumah, an ardent Pan-Africanist, was not one of the State Department’s favorite African leaders because of his vigorous opposition to the continued economic exploitation of Africa by America’s allies in Europe. President Nkrumah once stated: “Neocolonialism is based upon the principle of breaking up former large united colonial territories into a number of small nonviable states which are incapable of independent development and must rely upon the former imperial powers for defense and even internal security. Their economic and financial systems are linked, as in colonial days, with those of the former colonial rulers.” He further noted that “colonialism and its attitudes die hard, like the attitudes of slavery, whose hangover still dominates behavior in certain parts of the Western Hemisphere.” They knew exactly what President Nkrumah meant by “certain parts of the Western Hemisphere.”
Explaining some of the reasons the United States Government is afraid of Malcolm X. As told by Rodnell P. Collins [nephew of Macolm X] with A. Peter Bailey in “Seventh Child: Malcolm X” (page 149). (via disciplesofmalcolm)
When Rev. Powell asked him to “please distinguish between segregation and separation?” Uncle Malcolm responded with an answer that showed why he was such a great teacher. “The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that segregation is that which is done to inferiors by superiors. Separation is done voluntarily by two groups of people. For example, you will notice that an oriental community like Chinatown is never called a segregated community because the Chinese in Chinatown controll all their businesses, all their banks, all their own politics, all their own everything. In the so-called Negro community everything is controlled by outsiders, so we have a regulated, segregated community. When you are segregated, that is done to you by someone else; when you are separated, you do that to yourself.
Malcolm X explaining the difference between segregation and separation. As Told by Rodnell P. Collins [nephew of Macolm X] with A. Peter Bailey in “Seventh Child: Malcolm X” (page 149). (via disciplesofmalcolm)

…to Malcolm, and correctly so, the role of the white progressive was not in Black organizations but in white organizations in white communities, convincing and converting the unconverted to the Black cause. Further, and perhaps more important, Malcolm had observed the perfidy of the white liberal and the American Left whenever Afro-Americans sought to be instruments of their own liberation. He was convinced that there could be no black-white unity until there was black unity; that there could be no workers’ solidarity until there was racial solidarity.

The overwhelming majority of white America demonstrates daily that they cannot and will not accept the Black man as an equal in all the ramifications of this acceptance - after having three hundred and forty-five years of racism preached to them from the pulpit, taught in the primer and textbook, practiced by the government, apotheosized on editorial pages, lauded on the airways and television screens. It would be asking white America completely to purge itself of everything it has been taught, fed, and has believed for three hundred and forty-five years.

Malcolm X: The Man and his Times (pg. xxii)

Understanding Malcolm X: Some of his Major Views Summarized


1. Steadfast opposition to Jim Crow segregation.

2. Fierce pride in the African roots of Black people.

3. Refusal to speak about himself as an “American” or about the U.S. government and armed forces as “our” government and “our” army.

4. Emphasis on the need to look at all events “in the international context”.

5. Recognition of the Democratic and Republican parties as organizations of the racist and imperialist oppressors.

6. Support for the right of self-defense against racist terror, including armed self-defense where necessary.

7. Identification with national liberation struggles throughout Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

8. Repudiation of the illusion that justice can never be advanced by relying on the good-heartiness of the oppressors and exploiters, or some common humanity shared with them.


You Are Afraid To Bleed


"I would like to make a few comments concerning the difference between the black revolution and the Negro revolution. There’s a difference. Are they both the same? And if they’re not, what is the difference? What is the difference between a black revolution and a Negro revolution? First, what is a revolution? Sometimes I’m inclined to believe that many of our people are using this word "revolution" loosely, without taking careful consideration [of] what this word actually means, and what its historic characteristics are. When you study the historic nature of revolutions, the motive of a revolution, the objective of a revolution, and the result of a revolution, and the methods used in a revolution, you may change words. You may devise another program. You may change your goal and you may change your mind.

Look at the American Revolution in 1776. That revolution was for what? For land. Why did they want land? Independence. How was it carried out? Bloodshed. Number one, it was based on land, the basis of independence. And the only way they could get it was bloodshed. The French Revolution — what was it based on? The land-less against the landlord. What was it for? Land. How did they get it? Bloodshed. Was no love lost; was no compromise; was no negotiation. I’m telling you, you don’t know what a revolution is. ‘Cause when you find out what it is, you’ll get back in the alley; you’ll get out of the way. The Russian Revolution — what was it based on? Land. The land-less against the landlord. How did they bring it about? Bloodshed. You haven’t got a revolution that doesn’t involve bloodshed. And you’re afraid to bleed. I said, you’re afraid to bleed.

[As] long as the white man sent you to Korea, you bled. He sent you to Germany, you bled. He sent you to the South Pacific to fight the Japanese, you bled. You bleed for white people. But when it comes time to seeing your own churches being bombed and little black girls be murdered, you haven’t got no blood. You bleed when the white man says bleed; you bite when the white man says bite; and you bark when the white man says bark. I hate to say this about us, but it’s true. How are you going to be nonviolent in Mississippi, as violent as you were in Korea? How can you justify being nonviolent in Mississippi and Alabama, when your churches are being bombed, and your little girls are being murdered, and at the same time you’re going to violent with Hitler, and Tojo, and somebody else that you don’t even know?

If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it’s wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it’s wrong for America to draft us and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.”

-Malcolm X

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1lxQv9MRac


James Baldwin, Question and Answer Period, 1986

  • Question: You talk about facing reality at least by White America. Don't you think it's time for Black America to realize that a great deal of its problems are trying to blame them on the past on White America? Isn't it time for Blacks to face up to their own realities?
  • James Baldwin: Well, I've heard that before. I don't think that Black people can be accused of blaming their situation on the past, or, indeed, blaming their situation on anybody. The situation is much too vivid, much to terrible for that self-indulgence. History is not the past. The situation as a Black community in this country is abominable because this is a racist country. Every institution in this country is a racist institution, and the very last thing that the public really wants is an autonomous Black community anywhere! There's no point in blaming the Black community for being upset with the community because the community has always been at war with the republic. It's not "the past," and there's no point in blaming Black people for it!
When “white people” talk about progress in relationship to Black people, all they are saying, and all they can possibly mean by the word progress is how quickly and how thoroughly I become white! I don’t want to become white! I want to grow up! And so should you!
James Baldwin, question and answer period (a question regarding progress in race relations), 1986 (via disciplesofmalcolm)

James Baldwin: The Civil Rights Movement was a Slave Rebellion (1979)


Instead of speaking about the Civil Rights movement, which is an American phrase, which upon examination means nothing at all. Let us pretend: I stand before you, as a witness to, and a survivor of, the latest slave rebellion.

I put it that way, because Malcolm X was doing a debate with a very young sit-in student, and the radio station called me to moderate this discussion which I did. I was not needed, I must tell you. Malcolm was one of the most beautiful and one of the most gentle men I met in all my life. He asked the boy a question which I now present to you: If you are a citizen, why do you have to fight for your civil rights? If you’re fighting for your civil rights, that means you’re not a citizen. In fact, the legality of this country has never had anything to do with its former slaves. We are still governed by the slave codes.

Now, when I say a slave rebellion, I mean that what is called a civil rights movement was really insurrection. It was co-opted. Now the late Edgar Hoover is in his grave-“God bless him.” A lot of what I knew, and many other people knew during those years, and only a fraction of what we knew during all those years can now be more or less discussed. So I can say that the latest slave rebellion was brutality put down. We all know what happened to Medgar. And it was not some lunatic to happened to be wandering around with a gun. The ONE lunatic in Mississippi at that moment happened to have a gun somewhere. And by some odd coincidence shot Medgar Egars in the comfort of his home, in the sight and hearing of his wife and children. And Medgar was 37. The lunatic was carried into the front door visibly of a nursing home, and out the back door, and that was that. We all know what happened to Malcolm. We all know what happened to Martin. We all know what happened to Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, and so many more. Honey, don’t tell me, the list is long. That is the result of a slave rebellion.

Now, I’m saying that, since we are the survivors of it, a brutal thing must be said: the intentions of this melancholy country, as concerns Black people, and anyone who doubts me can ask any Indian, have always been genocidal.

They needed us for labor and for sport. Now, they can’t get rid of us. We cannot be exiled, and we cannot me accommodated. Now, something’s got to give. The machinery of this country operates day in and day out, hour by hour, until this hour, to keep a nigger in his place. A whole lot of things we used to do we aren’t needed for no more. On the other hand, we’re here.

It is true that this is going to be a very difficult Summer. In every city in this nation now, Black father is standing in the street watching Black son, they are watching each other, and neither one of them got no place to go. That is not their fault. That has nothing to do with their value, merit, capabilities. There maybe nothing worse under heaven, there may be no greater crime, than to attack a man’s integrity; to attempt to destroy that man. I know in spite of the American Constitution, despite of all the “born-again” Christians, I know that my father was not a mule and not a thing, and that my sister was not born to be the plaything of white sheriffs. What am I saying? I am saying we find ourselves in a hard place. (1)