Malcolm X was incarcerated when he joined the Nation of Islam, and upon his release was quickly recognized by Muhammad as an integral leader. X demanded our people take pride in our communities, making it clear we didn’t need white-owned resources to thrive.
He also believed in using violence, believing we should protect ourselves "by any means necessary."
But over time X became less enchanted by NOI due to Muhammad’s leadership. He left NOI for good in 1963. Desperately in need to reconnect with Spirit, X traveled to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Upon his return to the U.S., he reflected on how anger towards anti-Blackness can blind our goal of achieving liberation.
In 1964, X founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity, identifying “racism” not white people, as the enemy. His work inspired organizations like the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Unfortunately, we’ll never know for sure just how influential X could have been. His assaination in 1965 left a giant hole in our community.
Religious or spiritual groups we’re part of should feel supportive, not abusive or policed. X’s legacy is powerful, especially in his lesson of knowing when to trust in Spirit and walk away.
What’s not serving you that you should walk away from?
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