And there are more similarities. When Malcolm X was assassinated, the media – just like now – summed it up as merely a case of a ‘messenger of hate and violence’ being done in by the very ‘violence he promoted.’
Yet those who knew Malcolm X— like Ossie Davis, who eulogized him—spoke of a conscientious man who loved to laugh and flash his brilliant smile.
Within the past week, a number of friends of Malcolm Shabazz have said the same. Malcolm Shabazz loved to smile as well, a warm smile that reminded you of just who his grandfather was.
So let’s not commit the same mistake this time. Let’s choose to remember Malcolm Shabazz for his emerging humanity, not his troubled past.
Despite his flaws and previous crimes, like his grandfather, he appeared to be headed toward a more humane place, driven by a desire to change the world.
The tragedy is that we will never know what would have come from this young man.
My heartfelt condolences, prayers and love go out to the Shabazz family in this time of pain and remembrance.
I’ll end with this quote from Ossie Davis’ eulogy of Malcolm X 48 years ago:
“However we may have differed with him, or with each other about him and his value as a man, let his going from us serve only to bring us together.”