To celebrate what would have been Black nationalist Malcolm X’s 93rd birthday, activists, comrades and relatives are coming together to salute the Civil Rights leader’s contributions to the Black community on a global level.
Malcolm X’s birthday still isn’t recognized as a national holiday in the U.S., but that hasn’t stopped New York City grassroots activists from recognizing May 19 as Malcolm X Day for the past 53 years.
This morning, a caravan of vehicles gathered at the corner of 126thStreet and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, and then made their way to Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, where Malcolm X and his beloved wife, Betty Shabazz, are buried. Malcolm X’s sister and Organization of Afro-American Unity President Ella Collins started the 83-year-old tradition.
Later in the evening, Malcolm X’s daughters Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz are expected to take the stage and reflect on the legacy of their parents at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Educational and Memorial Center on Broadway, according to the Amsterdam News.
Others are celebrating hero’s born day by attempting to force businesses along 125th Street to shut down from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., according to D12.com.
Malcolm X was assassinated at age 39 on February 21, 1965, having been struck 16 times by a hail of bullets. He was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m.
The King Center, the official living memorial dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., commemorated Malcolm X’s birthday in a heartfelt tweet imploring revelers to celebrate the real icon, who, it says, was so much more than the villain the media and government tried to portray.
Today would have been #MalcolmX’s 93rd birthday. Media and government painted the picture they wanted you to see of this brilliant man. Read ‘The Autobiography of Malcolm X’ to know his true story. pic.twitter.com/W5Wbi1VRM3
— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) May 19, 2018