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Malcolm X

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty

On February 21, 1965, former Nation of Islam leader and influential Black Civil Rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City.

Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, X, who later changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, would go on to be one of the most pivotal, influential leaders in the struggle for Black human rights in the United States and abroad.

And his words, his fiery, prophetic words, still hold true today:

“I wouldn’t suggest that they vote for any party or either party. I would suggest that the so-called Negroes become politically mature, realize the power that they hold in the field of politics. Once the person realizes that the Negro is awakened to the power that he holds, then that person will approach that Negro on a more intelligent plane. As it is right now, most of the Negro leaders sell out to the white politicians for crumbs, and a political awakening among Negroes will make it impossible for the present Negro leaders to sell our people out as they’ve been doing in the past…Negroes should do whatever is necessary to bring about the complete solution to their problems. Whatever is necessary.”

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