Happy Birthday To You…

I missed it yesterday, as I was traveling all day, but I wanted to wish Malcolm X a happy belated birthday. He would have been 83.

Malcolm X

From Melissa Harris-Lacewell on The Root, an excellent black intellectual blog, on why we love Malcolm:

Malcolm displayed the capacity to learn, to grow, to discern and to change direction. It takes courage to admit that society’s approach to old subjects has grown rigid and needs to evolve and change. It is hard for leaders to admit that they have been wrong in the past. His life is a reminder that greatness is not found in arrogant self-righteousness or intellectual hubris, but in the willingness to be open to our own limitations.

As we stop to reconsider Malcolm X on his birthday, we should reaffirm our own commitments to creating a more just and fair world. We should express to his spirit our gratitude, not for his perfection, but for his courage and for the lessons he imparted to us, to light the way for our struggle

I think about this often as I go through my days, defending my beliefs and trying to make this a better world for my children. I try to remember my goal of self-improvement and spiritual enlightenment, even if it requires admitting I was wrong by being honest with myself and all those around me. I think of my struggles, but remembering that while there is always someone doing better than I, there is also someone doing worse. Do read the Autobiography of Malcolm X if you haven’t yet already. Reading it was one of the turning points in my life.

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