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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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Ohio Racist Arrested For Threatening Mass Shooting At Jewish Community Center

An Ohio man was arrested for making threats against a local Jewish community center.

According to reports, local law enforcement became aware of James Reardon Jr., on July 11 after he posted an Instagram video of a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle. Sirens and screams could be heard in the background and officials said the 20-year-old tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown in the post.

New Middletown Police Chief Vince D’Egidio said the video prompted an urgent and swift investigation into Reardon.

"That kicked off an intense investigation, a very rapidly evolving investigation, because of the way the world is," he said.

Reardon has branded himself a white nationalist and anti-Semite. He also reportedly attended  2017's "Unite The Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Over the weekend, the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force raided Reardon's home and located a cache of guns, ammunition and other weapons including a gas mask and bulletproof armor.

Eleven men and women were killed at a Pittsburgh synagogue last October just an hour away from the community center in question. Increased security has been offered to the Jewish center prior to Reardon's arrest and will remain until further notice.

"This is a person that has declared himself as a white nationalist. With the hate crimes and everything else going on, we want to make sure we do our part to make sure this person was taken off the streets very quickly," D’Egidio said.

Reardon is being held n $250,000 bond. He's charged with telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing.

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Eric Reid Blasts JAY-Z's NFL Deal: "When Has JAY Z Ever Taken A Knee?"

JAY-Z's recent partnership with the NFL has been met with a lot of raised eyebrows and condemnation.

The rap mogul vocally supported Colin Kaepernick's peaceful protest against police brutality and reportedly went as far as to talk Travis Scott out of performing during last year's halftime Superbowl. So when it was announced Roc Nation would help manage the league's entertainment and social justice leg, many didn't understand why.

The criticism only grew after the 4:44 artist alleged to have spoken to Kaepernick about his new business venture, only for his longtime girlfriend Nessa to refute the claims on social media.

TMZ  then reported JAY Z will have majority ownership in an NFL team, which now puts more pressure on him to be a change agent and not just a figurehead.

Eric Reid on Jay Z kneeling statement: “When has Jay Z ever taken a knee? For you get paid to go into a NFL conference and say we are past kneeling is asinine.” pic.twitter.com/BO9RCLUHek

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Carolina Panther's safety Eric Reid spoke with reporters about JAY-Z's newest venture and called it "despicable."

"When has JAY-Z ever taken a knee? Yes, he’s done a lot of great work," Reid said. "A lot of great social justice work, but for you to get paid to go into an NFL press conference and say that we’re past kneeling? Again, asinine. Players Coalition 2.0. He got paid to take the bullets that he’s taking now because we’re not having it.”

To Reid and many others, JAY-Z looks hypocritical.

“JAY-Z claimed to be a supporter of Colin, wore his jersey, told people not to perform at the Super Bowl because of the treatment that the NFL did to Colin. Now he’s going to be a part-owner and it’s kind of despicable.”

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Tennessee Clerk Faces 60 Years For Killing Black Teen For Stealing A $2 Beer

A Tennessee clerk showed no emotion after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Dorian Harris.

Anwar Ghazali faces up to 60 years in prison for killing Dorian who stole a $2 beer from his Top Shop convenient store.

Ghazali's defense said he never intended to kill Dorian. Instead, his lawyer alleges he fired off shots in the air as a warning. However, Dorian was struck in his femoral artery, which caused him to bleed out. The teen's body was reportedly found later at a nearby abandoned home.

The 29-year-old store clerk didn't take the stand, however, his criminal defense attorney, Black Ballin, noted he was 77 feet away from Dorian when he chased after him, a long enough distance that proved he didn't intend to kill the teen.

"That's like Steph Curry standing on the other side of the court, and knowing that he'll make a shot at a 94-foot distance. Even Steph Curry can't guarantee that," Ballin said.

The prosecution, however, didn't care how far away Ghazali was and built their case based upon the surveillance video from the night in question. Prosecutors also stated that after the shooting, he didn't call local law enforcement and calmly walked back into the north Memphis convenience store to ring up more customers.

"The defendant took it upon himself to be the judge, the jury and the executioner over a $2 [drink]. That's why we're here," said Lora Fowler said during closing arguments. "Why are you using deadly force to defend a [drink]?"

The convenience store was reportedly closed for two weeks following the shooting as protests erupted throughout the city days after Dorian's murder

Ghazali will return to court on September 23rd and receive his sentencing.

 

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