Friday, May 10, 2013
S-Dot for The S-Dot Files I AM MALCOLM X!!! In the summer of 1992 at the conclusion of Spike Lee’s brilliant autobiographical masterpiece “X” when it was released in theaters many of us stood on our feet with tears streaming down our cheeks and boldly shouted, “I Am Malcolm X!” This generational declaration soon had us dubbed as “Generation X” by Madison Ave. As Generation X, we adorned ourselves with fitted “X” caps, t-shirts, plastered our walls with posters and submerged ourselves in books and tapes on our beloved shining hero of Black Liberation Minister Malcolm X (Malik El Hajj Shabazz). Yet, none of us actually had to pick up the mantle and shoulder the burden of actually “Being Malcolm.” As time progressed, many of that merchandised got shoved to the back of closets, a lot of that fiery angst got toned down in order to get “good jobs” and those angry protests just became hushed conversations. Generation X became Generation ‘I got next’. However, 8 years earlier, Malcolm Lateef Shabazz was born “Malcolm” in 1984. As the first male heir of his grandparents the Honorable Malik El Hajj and Dr. Betty Shabazz, he lived his life “Being Malcolm.” For him, his “X” was an almost inescapable shadow cast over every one of his actions. Inheriting a legacy is a difficult mantle to carry. It is oftentimes a thankless burden with overwhelming expectations and harsh criticisms from opinionated outsiders. Those who speculate usually perpetuate an atmosphere of angst and turmoil. He could do no wrong, and everything he thought he did right still fell short of “Being Malcolm.” His name became his prison. He was watched. Not like most of us Black males who find ourselves occasionally under suspicion when we exit a store, pulled over driving, stopped after going through the turnstile on the subway or fitting the “description” of someone who looks nothing like us. He was watched for real. There will people assigned to track and monitor his coming and goings. His associations were cataloged and his involvements were placed in a file. Most of us won’t see that file until it is ‘declassified’ decades from now. On Thursday, May 9, 2013, just 10 days before what would’ve been the 88th birthday of his grandfather Malcolm Lateef Shabazz was murdered in Tijuana, Mexico in what has been reported as a botched robbery which led to him being thrown from a roof to his death. Coincidence???