malcolm-x-ninety-first-birthday malcolm-x-ninety-first-birthday
Getty Images

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."

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

TLC's Chilli Praises Cardi B For How She's Dealing With Offset Break Up

TLC's Chilli is sending love and light to Cardi B amid the rapper's recent break up with Offset. In a new interview with People, Chilli praised the rapper for handling her public situation much better than she handled her break up with Usher in 2003.

"I have gone through a public breakup, and it is not easy," Chilli, whose real name is Rozanda Thomas, said referring to her split from Usher. "When strangers know your business and want to chime in while you’re still dealing with the pain yourself, it’s difficult. Breakups are hard on anyone, but can you imagine if strangers knew your business? It’s rough."

Thomas also claimed that Cardi was "braver" than she was as she "just sort of shut down" when her two-year relationship to the R&B crooner ended. "I am proud of her for being strong and standing up for herself during a time that is obviously a very hurtful one," she continued. "She has a strong sense of self. That’s why fans have connected with her this way. She talks about her highs and lows; she is fearless."

Later in the interview, Chilli suggested that she would be open to working with Cardi on new music. "I don’t usually like to collaborate with females, and the reason why is because of Lisa," she added. "That is just a little weird for me, personally. But I think with Cardi B, she is an exception to the rule. TLC and Cardi B all day long. We’ve gotten a lot of love from Cardi. It’s really an honor."

READ MORE: Offset's Father Calls Out Cardi B In Lengthy Facebook Post

Continue Reading
Kevin Winter

Childish Gambino Reveals Father's Death During Concert Tribute

Childish Gambino wrapped his This Is America Tour in Los Angeles on Monday (Dec. 17) with a special tribute to his father, Donald Glover Sr. The multi-talented artist revealed that his dad passed away a couple of weeks ago, and commemorated his life by previewing a new single.

"I lost my father a couple weeks ago," he announced in a video that was posted on Reddit. "I wanted to play him some of the new songs, but he didn't want to hear them, because he was like, 'I know they're going to be great.'"

He added: "I'm not saying that to talk about music — I say that to talk about trust. That's what love is. I hope you guys get to feel that kind of love."

He later previewed one of the songs he wanted to share with his dad, as seen in a video a fan posted on Twitter. The song sounds like an uptempo tune with heavy horn instrumentals.

The announcement comes shortly after Gambino returned to the stage after suffering from a foot injury. Ahead of the tour, the "Feels Like Summer" rapper also announced that his next album would be his last project under the moniker Childish Gambino. It's unclear if the new track will appear on the final album.

Check out Gambino's tribute to his father in the video below.

@donaldglover unreleased song #ChildishGambino #ThisIsAmerica #thisisamericatour pic.twitter.com/ToGHrAnApo

— Alexis Andrade (@alexisarealtor) December 15, 2018

READ MORE: Decoding Childish Gambino's Stunning "This Is America" Visual

Continue Reading
Getty Images

VICE CEO Doesn't Believe Desus And Mero's Brand Is Strong Enough For Showtime

Comedy duo Desus & Mero have kept their brand strong since joining forces in 2012 but the newly-appointed CEO of Vice believes their move to Showtime wasn't the best decision.

In an interview with Elle, Nancy Dubuc shared her plans to rebuild the outlet since reports of sexual harassment allegations, unlawful HR practices and the stepping down of Shane Smith came to light this year. Changing the bro culture has removed content and replacing it with more substantial content and finding gems that will also replace the gap left by Desus & Mero.

The guys brought high ratings to the network during their reign from August 2016 to June 2018, but Dubuc doesn't see this happening for their upcoming series at Showtime. “They’re going to a platform that their audience doesn’t pay for,” she said.  “I told them, ‘You can always come back.’”

In an interview with Bossip over the summer, the guys revealed their contracts were cut two months early after news about their deal with Showtime went public. They show consisted of the two commentating on the latest in politics and pop culture while interviewing big names like Gabrielle Union, Rachel Maddow, Diddy, Vic Mensa and Tracee Ellis Ross. They also opened up about their organic approach in comedy was nearly butchered when the network demanded them to work 24/7.

“We were carrying that network on our back, and we felt the weight,” Desus said. “They were talking about, ‘Do not take the weeks off because we don’t get ratings,’ and it’s like, 'Yo, we’re just two people.'”

“We were literally the LeBron of that network,” Mero added. “As a dad, you wanna be around for milestones for like graduations, birthdays…and it’s obnoxious to have to be like, ‘I can’t go to my kid’s graduation because we leave the studio at 3 o’clock and the graduation is at 4.’”

Mero believed the duo were undervalued and not appreciated by the network until it was too late. Their brand transcended platforms as the guys are still active on Twitter and their podcast roots, taking the brand to new heights.

“The channel wanted us to die for this f**king network,” Desus said at the time.  “We’re also the highest rated show on the network, put some respect on our name, have someone come massage my feet.”

We doubt the duo will go back to Vice as excitement for their series on Showtime continues to grow. The guys are already making strides by adding black women to their writing team and recently dropped a teaser for the show.

The brand is strong. #DESUSandMERO are bringing the culture to #Showtime beginning Thurs, Feb 21, at 11p/10c! #BodegaHive pic.twitter.com/3DwcWXgrEO

— Desus & Mero on SHOWTIME (@SHODesusAndMero) November 29, 2018

Desus and Mero will premiere on Showtime Feb. 21 at 11 pm ET.

READ MORE: 25 Hip-Hop Albums By Bomb Womxn Of 2018

Continue Reading

Top Stories