By Ameer Hasan Loggins
“I now introduce to you, a man that would give his life for his people,” Benjamin 2X told the crowd in the Audubon Ballroom. That would be the last time 2X would have the honor to make such an introduction. Because on that day, February 21, 1965, in front of close to 500 people, including his pregnant wife and children, Malcolm X was shot 15 times.
On Saturday morning, February 27, 1965, in Harlem, New York, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was laid to rest. The public viewing of his body was attended by up to 30,000 mourners. Another 3,000 people made the pilgrimage to pay their respects at the Faith Temple Church of God to their “shining Black prince.”
J. Edgar Hoover and the Federal Bureau of Investigation wanted to “neutralize,” a “true Black revolution” in the United States. By any means necessary, they were hellishly bent on preventing “the rise of a” Black “messiah.” Hoover and the FBI identified Malcolm X as the one who, “might have been such a ‘messiah.’”
James Baldwin said, when Malcolm talked, he articulated the long-denied pain and suffering for all of the Black people in the United States. That Malcolm corroborated the reality of Black folks, and by doing so, he affirmed that, “they really exist.”
Malcolm spoke directly to their soul.
The primary role of the Messiah, from an Old Testament perspective, was supposed to be one of a liberator, by militant means. He was to, “strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,” and, “with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:4). According to Sigmund Mowinckel, author of He That Cometh: The Messiah Concept in the Old Testament and Later Judaism, The Messiah always had, “political significance,” and, the Messiah’s mission is to restore his people, “and free them from their enemies.”
Malcolm and his message were messianic.
That made Malcolm X dangerous.
That made Malcolm X a revolutionary worthy of being neutralized in the eyes of Hoover and the FBI.
Malcolm saw the “Black Revolution,” as “controlled by God.”
Two days before his assassination, Malcolm said, “It is a time for martyrs now, and if I am to be one, it will be for the cause of…