MALCOLM X ON AFRO-AMERICAN HISTORY (1967)
I came across a literary treasure that gave me the opportunity to get a glimpse of Malcolm X’s goal. Dating back in the 1960s his main purpose was to educate for the black community on their past, their present condition and what steps need to take place to rise up out of the unjust society in which we live. In reading his speeches, I gained an understanding of Malcolm X and a respect for how diligently and selflessly he worked to take our people to a higher consciousness and awareness. Malcolm X believed that the “dark world was rising” as he so cleverly stated in one of his speeches as a member of the OAAU, Organization for Afro-American Unity. This short book highlighted one of a three speech series that looked at Afro-American history from early civilization, to present time being oppressed and to what would have been (he never made the third speech) a complete discussion and steps of how the Afro-American was going to get out of the oppressed state that they were currently in.
Malcolm X on Afro-American History is a compelling short read which provides information on the true history of the Afro-American that delves deeper than what is lined out for Black History Month. More importantly the history and accomplishments made by Afro-Americans prior to being brought to America.
Malcolm X on Afro-American History (speeches)
Copyright 1967 Betty Shabazz and Merit Press ; Copyright 1970 by Betty Shabazz and Pathfinder Press.
The Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B. Dubois (1903)
After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is sort of the seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with a second-sight into this American world, – a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at ones self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness, – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled striving; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps him from being torn asunder (excerpt taken from Souls of Black Folks by W.E. B. Dubois, Reprint 1973).
In 1903 these words shook the natural order of the thought process for Negroes as well as prompting concern by Whites. These words and the chapters within The Souls of Black Folk opened the eyes of truth and examined the multiple dimensions of the Negro in American. W.E.B. Dubois looked at the current state of Negroes in America in the early 1900s. He also went beyond the current state by anticipating the future state of the Negroes self-respect, self-esteem and self-consciousness. Prophetically with the writing of The Souls of Black Folk , Dubois set a standard of truth in literature. The paradox of living two separate lives had always been the thought process for the Negro. The understanding that you must act one way and have a deep thinking that contradicted that thought process was the norm.
For the month of February let’s examine the writing of W.E.B. Dubois in his ground breaking Souls of Black Folk. We will dissect how it truth that was prevalent in the early 1900s is still prevalent in the black community over one hundred years later.
Let’s open up the dialogue. Share your thoughts and ideas and reflections on how your life rings true through the pages of Souls of Black Folk.
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