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Malcolm X On the World Scene: A Special 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Assassination of Malcolm X

February 21, 2015

We at KARAMAH choose to pay homage to our brother Hajj Malik El-Shabazz by living as he lived. On this anniversary of his martyrdom, we celebrate his life, legacy, and character. Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, founder of KARAMAH, first met Hajj Malik during his first visit to Beirut, Lebanon, in April, 1964.  Later, when he learned that she was planning to pursue her higher education in the U.S., he invited her to Harlem.  He asked her to call him upon her arrival, so that he could take her around, as he put it, “to meet your brothers and sisters.”  On January 25, 1965, he wrote her “Greetings from your brothers and sisters here in Harlem, New York.” He signed it “Malcolm X.”  When Dr. al-Hibri  arrived in the U.S. in 1966, Brother Malcolm had already been assassinated.  She took a cab directly from the airport to Harlem, but the driver refused to enter the area.  He simply pointed to it from a distance, and then took her to her hotel.  She was devastated.  She did not meet any brothers or sisters that day but has met plenty since then.  Sister Azizah has been back to Harlem many times since then, but Brother Malcolm’s promise to her remained hanging in the air, haunting her.  He promised that he would take her around to meet her brothers and sisters, and doing it on her own was never the same.   Fifty years after his assassination, Brother Malcolm is fulfilling his promise.  His legacy is bringing her back to Harlem this Saturday at a historic event at the Schomburg Center where together they will meet their brothers and sisters. She will share her memories about the great leader she knew.  That is her way of honoring her Brother Malcolm at the fiftieth anniversary of his martyrdom. We American Muslims remember Brother Malcolm for his contributions to the civil rights movement in the United States. He was, however, a global leader. He was the first to proffer on the world scene that racism was not a domestic issue; it was a global, human rights issue. This legacy has changed the narrative of how we look at civil rights in this country and around the world today. On Saturday evening, Sister Azizah will join a panel that will speak about Brother Malcolm’s impact on the world stage. She will also be speaking specifically about the last six hours she spent with him during his last visit to Beirut. We invite you to tune in.

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