February 21 2015 marked 50 years since the assassination of outspoken African-American Muslim stalwart Malik al Shabazz. Malcolm X, as he was also known, was gunned down at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem in 1965 while preparing to give a speech.
As an NPR blog notes, Al Shabazz can be considered as one of the great public speakers of all-time.
And while Malcolm X may have had a natural leaning toward dramatic interpretation, for him public speaking was a learned skill. At the age of 21, he was a middle school dropout and prison inmate who, “didn’t know a verb from a house.” Three months shy of his 40th birthday, he was an international media presence, a voracious reader, tough debater and a leading proponent of black nationalism.”
Below we reproduce some of al Shabazz’s iconic words, many of which may still ring a poignant bell today.
A Muslim’s diet is above ordinary – we are “meat-eating vegetarians” which means if it’s not organic or halal food (lawful in Islam), we practice temporary vegetarianism. Muslims are blessed with grocery stores and local markets therefore life in Britain does not require us to grow our own crops – although, if we did, that would be exciting and nurturing. As an eco-Muslim I have learned to grow my own tomatoes and other herbs, which, with a little know-how is a productive step to improving our lifestyle.