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Happy Birthday, Malcolm X: Relive Malcolm X's Power Through His Speeches

On what would've been his 91st, birthday, Vibe honors Civil Rights icon Malcolm X in his own words.

On what would've been Malcolm X's 91st birthday, Vibe honors the honest, powerful, determined and loving leader in his own words.

So many times Malcolm is eulogized by those who summarize his 39 years as best they can. We here at Vibe decided that would be too lofty to take on. As humans, we're multidimensional and complex and Malcolm--despite his love and commitment to see black people thrive--was no different. He was a father, a husband, a brother a believer and friend. A man who smiled, laughed and cracked jokes. But most importantly, he cared which is evident in the fact that he didn't hesitate to die, because he loved us so.

Happy Birthday, Malcolm X.

Who Taught You To Hate Yourself? (Los Angeles, 1962)

Standing before a packed Los Angeles crowd, Malcolm asked a simple question that has echoed throughout the African-American community long after his death. Who taught you to hate yourself? The powerful speech--a snippet of which was sampled on Beyonce's Lemonade--encapsulates all that Malcolm stood for: brutal self-reflection, ownership of mistakes made, white supremacy's intentional destruction of the black community, and humor to drive the point home.

Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the color of your skin to such extent that you bleach it to get like the white man? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourselves from the top of your head to the soles of your feet?

Malcolm X On Education (Harlem, 1960s)

While speaking at a rally in Harlem, Malcolm touched on the harsh living conditions of the community. He began his speech by addressing the negative effects of a dilapidated neighborhood and how it creates a vicious cycle for people of color. A key aspect to why Malcolm was (and still is) revered as such a powerful historical figure is because for all of Malcolm's intellect and wisdom, Malcolm also took a simplistic approach in his speeches, which allowed for his messages to penetrate.

It doesn't make any difference what else you have, if you don't have a place to rest your head, you're in bad shape. Here in Harlem, the reason we say housing is such a key problem, when you live in a poor neighborhood, you're living in an area where you have to have poor schools. When you have poor schools, you have poor teachers, when you have poor teachers you get a poor education and when you get a poor education you are destined to be a poor man and a poor woman.

Oxford University Debate (Oxford, England, 1964)

A little more than two months before his assassination, Malcolm X held court at Oxford University for a robust debate on the state of the black man in America. Malcolm, unafraid, unwilling (and maybe unable) to hold his tongue, spoke on the blaring hypocrisy that plagues black Americans. In front of a packed crowd, Malcolm's baritone echoed throughout the grand room as he spoke of his desire to see his people live a better life. But what is oftentimes overlooked by history books was Malcolm's humanity. Although brief, Malcolm's charm slipped through along with his smile as he used his intellect--like he's done many times before--to outwit those attempting to trip him up with his words.

As long as a white man does it, it's alright. A black man is suppose to have no feelings. But when a black man strikes back, he's an extremist. He's suppose to sit back passively and have no feelings, be non violent and love his enemy no matter what kind of attack--albeit verbal or otherwise--he's suppose to take it. But if he stands up in anyway, and tries to defend himself, then he's an extremist.

By Any Means Necessary (Harlem, 1964)

Almost as reductive as Dr. King's "I Have A Dream," Malcolm X's most famous four words "by any means necessary" have become a brand statement of sorts to describe his zeal and willingness to see black people rise and treated as equals and not second-class citizens in America. Sporting a thick beard, Malcolm--as he's done before--made his petition known that whatever it took to gain the rights, respect and liberties for African-Americans, he would do.

"To bring about the complete independence of people of African descent here in the Western Hemisphere, and first here in the United States, and bring about the freedom of these people by any means necessary."

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The pair have been quietly dating, according to People. Rihanna and A$AP, were reportedly spotted eating out with friends at New York City’s Beatrice Inn last weekend.

The duo, both 32, have been friends for several years. A$AP opened for Rihanna’s Diamonds world tour in 2013, and recently became one of the faces of her Fenty Skin campaign.

 

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In August, Rihanna and A$AP participated in a Q&A video segment for GQ magazine. When asked by Rihanna what was the hardest part about working with her he replied, “Not goofin’ off and laughing the whole time. Like this sh*t is comedy.

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Casanova Wanted By FBI In Connection With Racketeering Case

Rapper Casanova is wanted by federal investigators in connection with a sweeping indictment charging 18 alleged members of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation Gang with various racketeering, murder, drugs, guns, and fraud offenses, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday (Dec. 1).

The FBI New York tweeted a photo of Casanova and encouraged anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact the bureau. “We are still looking for Caswell Senior, aka Casanova, in connection with this case.”

The 34-year-old rapper is named in the indictment which was unsealed in a White Plains federal court Tuesday. Casanova is the only one out of 18 defendants who has yet to be arrested, the indictment states.

He faces single cont of conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

“As alleged in the Indictment, members of Gorilla Stone committed terrible acts of violence, trafficked in narcotics, and even engaged in brazen fraud by exploiting benefits programs meant to provide assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said. “Because of that, communities across the Southern District – from Poughkeepsie to Peekskill to New York City – suffered.”

“Most shocking, as alleged in the indictment, a minor was murdered in furtherance of the gang’s activities,” continued Strauss. “Because of the extraordinary work of our law enforcement partners, the defendants now face federal charges for their crimes.”

The indictment outlines a string of crimes that took place between Jan. 2018 and Sept. 2020.

Alleged gang member Brandon “Stacks” Soto has been charged in connection with the murder of a 15-year-old victim in Poughkeepsie, New York, in September.

In July, Stephen “Chino” Hugh allegedly shot at rival gang members in New Rochelle to allegedly “maintain and increase his position” in the gang’s “racketeering enterprise.” A month earlier, suspects Naya “Baby”Austin, Dezon “Blakk” Washington, and Jordan “Flow” Ingram committed armed robbery of a rival drug dealer, the indictment alleges.

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Terrell Davis, a 27-year-old drill rapper, who resided in South London, was stabbed to death on Nov. 22, reportedly while delivering groceries to his grandmother’s house. Davis was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fuller, 21, was remanded back into custody following Monday's court appearance. He is scheduled for another court date, this time in the Central Criminal Court, on Wednesday (Dec. 2).

21 Savage, whose birth name is Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was born in London and raised mostly in the states. The Grammy-winning rapper paid homage to his brother with an Instagram post of them as kids.

“Can’t believe somebody took you baby bro,” he wrote before showing regrets over an apparent argument with his sibling. “I know I took my anger out on you. I wish I could take that sh*t back.”

 

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