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.
Throughout the history of the world, the majority of people have believed in God. There seems to be something built in the human mind that makes us want to believe.
Over the last decade some really startling facts have been found that show that children have an innate belief in God. Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford Centre for Anthropology and Mind, states:
“The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children’s minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose…’
He adds that “If we threw a handful [of children] on an island and they raised themselves…they would believe in God’.. To put it simply, his answer as to why anyone would believe in God is that, our minds are designed to do so . Disbelief in God is something which is unnatural to the human being. Oxford University development psychologist Dr Olivera Petrovich, who is an expert in the Psychology of Religion states that, belief in God develops naturally and that ‘atheism is definitely an acquired position’.