Commemoration and celebration of Black History month were in abundance this year, and as usual it was highlighted by the tribute to the life and legacy of Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz). It was a massive turnout for the 58th commemoration on a date immortalized by his assassination on February 21, 1965.
Besides the flowing tributes and festive occasion at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center on Tuesday evening, a press conference earlier in the day called by attorney Benjamin Crump announced the filing of a $100 million lawsuit against the NYPD and other governmental agencies on behalf of Dr. Ilyasah Shabazz and the family.
During his speech later at the “Living the Legacy” event at the Shabazz Center, Crump stated that one of the reasons for the lawsuit was to demonstrate the complicity of the police and government forces in Malcolm’s death. “We will never forget Malcolm X,” Crump declared.
Nor is Malcolm forgotten in other parts of the country and the world, and sometimes not under the best circumstances, most notably in Mason, Michigan, where he attended high school. The city council voted down a resolution to create a Malcolm X Day of Observance. It stimulated a strong response from community residents, several of them speaking before the council.
From California, to Indiana, to the east coast, Malcolm was the word, and what more than one commentator noted: “We need more than a special occasion to honor this fearless leader.” Indeed, time is often taken out to recall his birthday and death day, but it’s those days between that mark his furious passage among us, and as Attorney Crump reminds us, moments and a man who should never be forgotten.