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From Grenada To The World

Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan And The Black Struggle

Louis Farrakhan & Malcolm X
Louis Farrakhan & Malcolm X

THERE’S something about Grenada’s contribution to the world of Black American politics.

In the past four decades, this small Caribbean island has produced everything and everyone from an ugly dictator to a universal beauty queen, from an internationally acclaimed revolutionary leader to the parents of world class athletic and motor racing champions. Its contribution to Caribbean history — and its politics – is also simply unique. Its role in CARICOM and the OECS remains as key as that of any other member-state. And its contribution to the Black American struggle is also quite unique.

It’s only now being more openly and readily acknowledged beyond Grenada and Caribbean shores that Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan each had a Grenadian mother. That much is being increasingly and more readily accepted across the Caribbean as a regional compliment of some worth. But the extent to which what they said and did is sufficiently understood in Grenada and the Caribbean that remains a problem. And even greater is the mistaken feeling that what they preached and practised was only relevant to blacks in the America.

Farrakhan is still with us, but Malcolm X was murdered 50 years ago. Farrakhan continues to pound the turf to this day, even though at a slower pace. Malcolm left for the infinity of eternity five decades ago, but his words and actions have remained and are still there for all to hear and see. But both stomped the ground with equal measure in their own way, each influencing the direction of the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm’s life process taught him many lessons before ‘that cold sunny Sunday’ recalled by those still alive to recall. He’d adored Nation of Islam Leader Prophet Elijah Muhammed just as much as Muhammad Ali did after his conversion from Cassius Clay. But along the way Malcolm discovered chinks in the prophet’s armour and traced much of the ugliness masked by his holy veil.

But Malcolm’s discoveries didn’t lead him to challenge the prophet or seek to replace him. His mission was not to publicly expose and denigrate the leader of Black American Muslims, but to offer them new vision and new hope.

Malcolm’s whole perspective on race and Islam changed after he did his first Hajj trip to Mecca. The number of White Muslims he came into contact with convinced him the struggle of Black Americans could not just be against white skins.

On his immediate return to America Malcolm changed course, preaching a more universal brand of struggle to Black Americans. He sought to build a new movement to ask Africa to help Black America take Uncle Sam (not White America) before the world court of the United Nations. That was a game changer.

I don’t know much about where Farrakhan stood back then in relation to Malcolm, but the fact that he remained with the Nation of Islam and eventually succeeded the Prophet in the leadership role did place on his shoulders the need to clean-up the mess emerging from the stories from the veiled mouths of the young ladies of the prophet’s inner court.

That the Nation of Islam survived and continued to grow under Louis Farrakhan after the Prophet departed is as much a tribute to him as was due to Malcolm for showing the courage to disagree with and even question the prophet leader.

I used to listen to a few tapes of Farrakhan in the late 80s and early 90ss from a cousin who followed him in America – and who eventually became Saint Lucia’s Foreign Affairs Minister. Farrakhan had tremendous influence on his style of elocution.

I also remember Farrakhan’s firebrand brand of preaching winning him hearts across the Caribbean, especially in Jamaica where conscious deejay’s dubbed his globally relevant speeches into their native dub music for a better ease of delivery into local consciousness.

And I particularly remember one speech in which Farrakhan referred to the IMF as ‘an International Mother…’ (saying something else than Fund without using any such word!)

I feel Farrakhan still has his role, as does the Nation of Islam, in this day and age when the likes of Islam is being given such a bad name and image. That he was the main guest at Jamaica’s recent honouring of Marcus Garvey’s centenary says enough about how – like Malcolm X — he too still shapes minds in Garvey’s Caribbean homeland and beyond America’s shores.

Malcolm made it quite clear, more than fifty years ago, that the Black struggle is not about killing off the White enemy, but breathing new life into the struggle and taking it to more Black people the world over to ensure more see the struggle is beyond mere colour of skin or texture or hair.

Yes, there’s a thing about the fact that Grenada produced the mothers who bore Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan.

I have always leaned more to Malcolm’s teachings – and it has nothing to do with him and I having the same birthday.

It’s for the same reason that, as March 13 approaches and Grenadians prepare to pay tribute to revolutionary leader Maurice Bishop, I continue to hope that Malcolm (and Farrakhan’s) teachings will eventually take sufficient root in their respective mothers’ homeland to help make a difference in shaping the way Grenadians (at home and abroad) see and shape the future of the three-island state.

And it has nothing at all to do with the pride that my very first son Samora (indeed, my very first offspring) also has a Grenadian mother…

By Earl Bousquet

7 Comments

  1. “But both ( Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan) stomped the ground with equal measure in their own way, each influencing the direction of the Nation of Islam.”
    ———————————————————————————————————————————
    Earl, how can you not mention that Louis Farrakhan has been accused, by many, of ordering the death of Malcolm X? Your research on this topic is incomplete.

    The doctor accused of killing Michael Jackson is Grenadian also. Your Rosy picture of Grenada has its Thorns; why omit them?

  2. Please check your facts.Hon Farrakhan’s mother was born in St.Kitts and Malcolm X’s mother in Grenada.

  3. what Malcolm X and Lois Farrakhan preaching and living is total different. or they are not convinced what come out of theyr lips.

    you never asked yourself when it comes to clothing why both prefer caucasian cloth over african style to wear ??

  4. In the debacle that lead to the murder of Maurice Bishop I wonder which side got the sympathies of your son’s mother! Was it the Maurice camp or was it the Bernard camp?

  5. Ahmed Popo, As-Salaam Alaikum,

    It is most unfortunate you have taken permanent residence in St.Thomas, and unable to impart your knowledge to the many Lucians who are mentally disabled by mis-education and the worship of a naked Caucasian as their God – such is the mental dilapidation of individuals like your contemporarys like Peter Josie and the male stripper Rick Wayne aka The Roman.

    I think Earl has attempted to illuminate the Caribbean roots of the Great Malcolm Shabazz, but to those of us who know better, it is easy to forgive his mistakes. Elijah Muhammad called himself “Messenger of Allah”, to the best of my knowledge, he never took on the title of Prophet.

    When Elijah died, the leadership of The Nation of Islam was bequeathed to his son Wallace Deen Muhammad who was a close friend of Malcolm. Wallace had studied the Religion of Islam and immediately changed the N.O.I. to become aligned with the Quranic teachings and the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH .

    Farrakhan was not made the leader of the NOI. In fact, Farrakhan felt that he was the most articulate and therefore deserved to be the leader of the Black Muslims, as they were known in the streets of America, prompting Louis Farrakhan to leave the NOI that under the new leadership of Wallace was known as, “The World Community of Islam”, and had rejected the doctrine that the White man was the Devil.

    Farrakhan formed a splinter group and made himself leader of what he continued to call the Nation Of Islam still teaching that Caucasians were a cursed race, grafted from the original Black man.

    We have some very backward Negroes in Lucia, people like The Stripper who calls himself a Roman and Tom Tom, who has degenerated into HEY!!!, willing to Crusade to maintain their Honorary White status as house Negroes.

    I have had to endure persistence attacks and called Racist for saying that the Religion of Slavery has disgraced the African people. However Allah brought vindication to my story in the report released by U.S. Dept. of Justice, that the Caucasian Christian was an Evil and wicked impostor who continued to murder and Lynch Black People with impunity.

    By Julia Edwards

    WASHINGTON, March 6 (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday the Justice Department would use its full authority to demand police reforms in Ferguson, Missouri, including possibly going so far as dismantling the department accused of racial bias.

    “We are prepared to use all the power that we have … to ensure that the situation changes there,” Holder told reporters.

    Asked if that included dismantling the Ferguson Police Department, Holder said, “If that’s what’s necessary, we’re prepared to do that.”

    Civil rights lawyers have previously said the county could absorb the functions of the Ferguson Police Department.

    The Justice Department issued a report this week that found that police in Ferguson overwhelmingly arrested and issued traffic citations to black residents, creating a “toxic” environment with its policing practices.

    That culture of distrust erupted in August, when white Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed. The incident triggered months of protest and a national debate about race and police behavior.

    Holder also said President Barack Obama’s task force on policing will issue guidelines to address jailing citizens who owe money to the city, a practice used in Ferguson. But he noted that the federal government does not have the authority to demand such a change of local governments.

    Ferguson city officials will meet with the Justice Department in about two weeks to begin negotiating an agreement on reforms, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said.

    If the two parties cannot reach a consensus, the Justice Department can sue and force reform.

    Knowles said on Friday that the city would not settle with the Justice Department if the negotiations do not lead to “mutual satisfaction.”

    “There are a lot of things in that report that are very troubling and need to be addressed, but there are also things that are an overreach,” Knowles said. (Reporting by Julia Edwards; Additional reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Writing by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Sandra Maler and Lisa Shumaker)

  6. ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson was still on the job Friday, two days after a government report blasted his beleaguered department for years of racial profiling, and the mayor refused to speculate about the chief’s future, saying his role was not to “just chop heads.”

    Meanwhile, three Ferguson employees implicated in racist emails exposed by that report are now gone from their jobs, the mayor said. One was identified as a city court clerk.

    Calls for Jackson’s removal were renewed again this week after the Justice Department cleared Darren Wilson, the white former Ferguson officer who shot Michael Brown, of federal civil rights charges in the death of the 18-year-old, who was black and unarmed.

    A second report released simultaneously found patterns of racial profiling, bigotry and profit-driven law enforcement and court practices in the St. Louis suburb that has come to represent the tension between minorities and American police nationwide.

    Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters Friday that the federal government will “use all the power that we have to change the situation” in Ferguson, including possibly dismantling the police force.

    “If that’s what’s necessary, we’re prepared to do that,” Holder said while accompanying President Barack Obama on a trip to South Carolina.
    View gallery
    Ferguson police chief stays on the job after federal …
    In this Aug. 15, 2014 file photo, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson releases the name of the the …

    Asked about Jackson in an interview with The Associated Press, Mayor James Knowles III said only, “He’s still the chief.”

    Knowles said city leaders are evaluating the Justice Department report “line by line” before deciding on reforms. His focus now is on understanding the report, then moving forward with whatever changes are needed.

    “I’m not here to just chop heads,” Knowles said. “We have to evaluate everything in the report, pick out what are the systemic issues and what are the things we can fix.”

    Jackson did not respond to interview requests on Friday but has repeatedly said he would not step down.

    Ferguson city leaders will meet with Justice Department officials in about two weeks and provide a plan for improving the police force and the municipal court system, Knowles said.
    View gallery
    Fatal shooting of teenager sparks protests in Ferguson, …
    A protester takes shelter from smoke billowing around him Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Freguson, Mo. …

    “They want to hear what we will do,” Knowles said. “We’re going to hopefully work out some sort of agreement and we’ll move forward.

    “We’ve got to come up with solutions now,” Knowles said.

    Some experts believe the first step toward a solution is change at the top.

    Larry Cunningham, professor and associate dean at St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, New York, said the removal of the chief is key to healing the racial wounds in the suburb.

    “He should absolutely not stay in office and should step down,” said Cunningham, a former prosecutor in Virginia and the Bronx. “The report details a widespread pattern and practice of abuse and discrimination and dysfunction. Because it is widespread and systemic throughout the entire police department, the buck stops at the top — the person in charge — and that’s the chief.”
    View gallery
    Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Justice …
    Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday, March 4, 201 …

    The report uncovered racist emails from several city employees, including some that belittled black residents or President Barack Obama. Knowles said three employees responsible for the emails ended their employment with the city on Thursday. He declined to say if they were fired or resigned and would not provide their names or titles.

    But Ferguson city spokesman Jeff Small identified one of the employees as court clerk Mary Ann Twitty, who was fired. He said the other two employees worked for the police department, but he did not name them. A message left for Twitty was not returned.

    The mayor said he first learned of the emails Wednesday after meeting with Justice Department officials in St. Louis. He said he was so incensed that he ordered the accounts of all three employees disabled while he was in the car returning to Ferguson after the meeting.

    Knowles said there was no evidence that Jackson or other police administrators were aware of the emails.

    The Justice Department report on the police department found that black drivers were more than twice as likely as others to be searched during routine traffic stops. Minority residents bear the burden of fines and court costs expected to generate $3 million this fiscal year. Black residents were more likely to face excessive force from police, often during unwarranted stops.
    View gallery
    Protesters block traffic on the street outside the …
    Protesters block traffic on the street outside the Ferguson, Mo., police department Wednesday, March …

    Some have called on the city to dissolve the 54-officer police force and allow either St. Louis County or a neighboring municipality to take over patrols. Knowles said there is “zero” percent chance of that happening.

    “I don’t say that defiantly,” he said. Residents “have been asking us to keep our own department and for the citizens to have input in making changes.”

    Knowles said he was disappointed that Justice Department officials waited until releasing the report to advise him and other city leaders of some of the problems.

    “There’s a lot of things they could have told us sooner and we would have dealt with it,” he said.

    Still, he said, it is clear that his community will benefit from the scrutiny.

    “Ferguson is going to end up being reformed,” Knowles said. “You can’t draw any conclusion other than Ferguson will be better after this.”

  7. Today and yesterday, March 7 & 8 th., people of God Consciousness take time to reflect on the supreme courage of the African-Americans living under the terror of the of the Caucasian Christian as they marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma Alabama. African Americans, women and children were beaten and trampled with horses as they peacefully asked the white Christian to stop terrorizing them because of the beauty of their skin color. Edmund Pettus was a General in the Confederate army, and a Grand Dragon of the KKK, a white Christian terrorist organization used to terrorize Africans in the name of the white God Jesus. Their symbol was the Crucifix of the white God. To this day the bridge is named in his honor – the more things change the more it’s the same – the Black American would say, “SAME DIFFERENCE!”

    Today, the so-called white Christian continues to oppress and murder the people of African ancestry and Sundays remain the most profound statement of the white God of the so-called white man – All blacks attend the all-Black congregation Churches where they worship a Naked white man as their God, and Caucasians attend All-White congregation churches where they are taught that THEY are created in the Image of God, or is it that God is created in their image??

    Negroes like Josie, and the male Stripper Ricky Wayne the Roman, who changed his name from Carasco because it was not white enough like a John Wayne, continue to inundate the minds of young Lucians with non-information, encouraging them to become male strippers who can pose NAKED for English homosexual audiences, while singing God Save The Queen.

    The only Blacks acceptable to these White Supremacist Christians are those who have undergone the Frankenstein treatment like a Tom Tom or Linus Clovis, whose heart’s desire is to keep the people of African ancestry worshiping a naked Caucasian, drinking his blood and eating his dead body.

    As we witness the atrocities committed by ISIS and Boko Haraan, and Lord’s Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony, and condemned by the so-called “civilized” people, does Guantanamo, where people are imprisoned because of their nationalities, come to mind ? Does the systematic torture of the innocent people of Abu-Ghareed, Iraq, slowly drowned in what is euphemistically called water-boarding, come to your mind ? or the terror inflicted by the Zionist of Israel upon the imprisoned population of Ghaza, where industrialized weaponry was rained upon helpless women and children, while the mass murderer Netanyahu is given a hero’s welcome on Washington come to mind ?

    You have been lobotomized, by the worship of the religion of your slave masters, and soon the Romans will kill God and bury him in a cave for three days. This time let’s make sure that we kill God for real – I like like the French Guillotine; then we can put God’s head in a barrel of cement and throw in in the Sulfur Springs Volcano, and put an end to this white man worship once and for all.

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