With Castro on September 24, 1960 in Harlem’s Theresa Hotel
Award-winning journalist Herb Boyd and the daughter of Malcolm X, human rights activist Ilyasah Al-Shabazz are launching the long awaited The Diary of Malcolm X on November 10, 2013.
That’s the 50th anniversary of “Message to the Grassroots,” an electrifying and commanding speech delivered by Malcolm X in 1963 at King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, the hometown of Herb Boyd.
Al-Shabazz, the daughter, observes : “It’s really beautiful that we get to see Malcolm in his own voice — Without scholars, historians, or observers saying what he was thinking or what he was doing or what he meant.” She added: “We get to read his personal Diary.”
Boyd notes that the Diary entries were compiled over two trips Malcolm made to Africa and the Middle East. Boyd also notes Malcolm’s discipline and that he did not miss a single day in recording his thoughts during that period.
“This is Malcolm uninterrupted,” Boyd says. “Without any kind of editorial interference.”
“Malcolm needs to speak and have his own words,” heard, Boyd adds. “It is probably the most critical thing that he left behind.”
Dr. Haki Madhubuti, whose company Third World Press is the book’s publisher says: “It’s one of the most important books that we’ve published.”
In The Diary of Malcolm X Boyd and Al-Shabazz provide the reader with a poignant memory of Malcolm X, one of the greatest leaders and freedom fighters in African-American history, who unabashedly championed the global cause of sovereignty for Africans worldwide. The book contains superb research.
Unlike other publications regarding Malcolm X, in The Diary of Malcolm X, Boyd and Al-Shabazz remind us of Malcolm’s intellectualism, socio-political propositions, economic strategy, and global view without yielding to the temptation to idealize him. We also learn more about the caring father and loving husband who balanced these responsibilities with the demands of the Struggle.
In the book, the reader learns about Malcolm X in his own words, and the thoughts he recorded them. No one needs to humanize Malcolm as he does so himself in The Dairy, which offers, without distortion from pundits, an analysis of Malcolm’s worldview, his vision, benevolence, and humanity.
Numerous dignitaries in Africa warned Malcolm X that his life was in danger once he returned to the United States. He had started to advocate for a strong connection with the motherland, a point he made strongly in “You Can’t Hate The Roots of a Tree Without Hating the Tree,” in order to harness the Global strength of all Africans based on the philosophy of Pan-Africanism. Even while African leaders offered Malcolm X an opportunity to take refuge on the motherland he typically observed, “my life will be a small price to pay for such a vision.” A vision for sovereignty, and protective status for African-Americans “by any means necessary.”
Boyd and Al-Shabazz weave in their own editorial commentaries throughout the book that contains Malcolm’s distinctive handwritten entries, of over 200 pages, regarding his socio-political experience overseas along with his interpretation of global events.
From the first entry, on April 15, 1964 to his last one on November 17, 1964, Malcolm’s commitment to the cause of African American advancement, his leadership, and his humanity is evident. The Diary of Malcolm X also repudiates recent revisionist scholarship based on speculations and innuendos, about Malcolm.
Malcolm was ahead of his time in comprehending the immense potential of engaging African Heads of State of newly decolonized nations. He was now able to bring forth to the United Nations, the human rights violations against Black people in the United States and the hypocrisy about global democracy preached by Washington. Today, Africa is the world’s fastest growing economy and emerging market in a world governed by material wealth and resources — not idealism.
Malcolm makes it clear in his dairy that he had the intellectual capacity to understand that material resources, not idealism, builds sovereign nation and the institutions to elevate people’s conditions. Indeed this was a constant theme in many speeches, including “The Ballot or The Bullet.”
The Diary of Malcolm X succinctly elucidates that a sovereign Pan-African state should be the material vision of African-Americans where resources are properly harnessed and give rise to an African-centered consciousness. This material vision as expressed by Malcolm X integrates a system analysis of the economic, political, and cultural reality of the global African community.
Malcolm understood that economics determined the infrastructure of a sovereign people and nation, whereas politics and culture determined the superstructure of a sovereign people and nation.
Accordingly, in a sovereign Pan-African state, African centered ideas along with the socio-economic and political disposition of Africans worldwide will be fortified by investing globally in the development and sustainability of Black-owned institutions where the protective status of Blacks is not only mandated, but secured.
If African-Americans are serious about becoming a sovereign people with their own nation, this book is a must read.
Obviously, what makes The Diary of Malcolm X extremely valuable is simply Malcolm’s own words and thoughts — prophetic, priceless, and worldly.
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Professor Patrick Delices is a political analyst/commentator for the Black Star News and the author of “The Digital Economy,” Journal of International Affairs. For nearly a decade, Prof. Delices has taught Africana Studies at Hunter College. He also served as a research fellow for the late Pulitzer Prize recipient, Dr. Manning Marable at Columbia University.