It’s great to have a mayor who’s also a top Black poet! For more information about the event, please check here.
May 14, 2020
Press Contact Zayid Muhammad 973 202 0745
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HONORING MALCOLM X AT 95!
BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!
On Tuesday, May 19th, join us in our first virtual observation of the 95th anniversary of the birth of our beloved Black Shining Prince, Malcolm X!
Because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, this will be a very different May 19th.
The Malcolm X Commemoration Committee (MXCC), The December 12th Movement, the
Organization of AfroAmerican Unity(OAAU), the Sons of Africa and the Malcolm X /Dr. Betty Shabazz Educational Center are uniting to make it a memorable one!
ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO THE GRAVESITE OF MALCOLM X CANCELLED TO THE PUBLIC: CAPTURED ONLINE!
Normally, our day would begin at 9 a.m. in Harlem with our Caravan for the annual Pilgrimage to the Gravesite of Malcolm X.
Cemeteries and Funeral Parlors are facing limits that are being put on their service capacity because of the Pandemic. Ferncliff Cemetery, where Malcolm is buried, can only allow ten persons at a time for a service. For these reasons, for the first time since 1966, we are going to have cancel the “public” pilgrimage gravesite ceremony. There will be a ‘Private’ ceremony performed by the OAAU and the Sons of Africa for the benefit of the immediate family and honoring and upholding the tradition, and that can be seen virtually as it will shared on Facebook Live!
At 11 a.m., go to the Malcolm X Pilgrimage 2020-ONLINE Facebook Event Page and join in the moment!…
SHUT DOWN OF 125TH STREET-CAR CARAVAN
We usually shut down the businesses on 125th Street at 12 noon under the leadership of the December 12th Movement.
Because of the Pandemic Shutdown, the businesses will already be closed, but to invoke the honor and memory and the legendary commitment to struggle of Malcolm, the December 12th Movement is leading a Black Power Car Caravan along 125th Street from 1pm and 3pm.
We are calling it ‘Fly the X Everywhere!’ Post it! Wear it! Display it!…
SHABAZZ CENTER’S 2 DAY LONG VIRTUAL CELEBRATION AND EVENING VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE HOSTED BY MXCC
Usually on the evening of May 19th, we join Ilyasah Shabazz and family at the Shabazz Center for the Annual Birthday Celebration.
Because of the Pandemic Restrictions, the Shabazz Center will instead host a 2 day series of virtual appreciations that they will include speakers, performers, liberation music. It will begin with a Watch Party for a Special Malcolm X Film on Monday evening. The time and film to be announced…
At 7 p.m., go the Malcolm Commemoration Committee Facebook Page for the Livestreaming of a powerful virtual Roundtable… ‘Malcolm X Speaks In The 21st Century:Beyond Covid19 and Chickens Coming Home To Roost!’
This will be the first of a series of virtual MXCC events.
Ilyasah Shabazz will join this Roundtable and will give opening remarks with Prof. James Small of the OAAU.
Poet Activist Zayid Muhammad, MXCC’s founding press officer, will host a powerful intergenerational panel of activists and scholars that will include:
- Viola Plummer of the December 12th Movement
- Prof. William Sales, co-convenor of the Malcolm X Speaks in the 90s Conferences and author of From Civil Rights to Black Liberation: Malcolm X and The OAAU
- Baba Zak Kondo, Conspiracys (Conspiracies): Unravelling The Assassination of Malcolm X
- Herb Boyd, co-editor with Ilyasah Shabazz of The Malcolm X Diary and co-editor of Malcolm X, Real, Not Invented, By Any Means Necessary
- Basir Mchawi, WBAI’s Education At The Crossroads
- Prof. Todd Steven Burroughs, co-editor with Dr. Jared A. Ball of A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X
- Prof. Kelly Harris, “Manning Marable: Humanizing Malcolm or Denigrating Legacies”
- Prof. Leonard Jeffries, founding chair emeritus of Africana Studies at City College New York (CCNY) and the International Executive Director of the OAAU
For more information about this extraordinary effort, follow our Facebook Page @Malcolm X Commemoration Committee and the webpages of the December 12th Movement http://d12m.com and of the Shabazz Center https://theshabazzcenter.org .
Finally, Muslims all over the world are excited to know that on one of Islam’s most sacred nights Laitul Qadr, the Night of Power, or the night that the Prophet Muhammad received his first Quranic revelation, falls on May 19th, the birthday of a great Muslim, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz-Malcolm X!
We can be reached at 973 202 0745…
When This Thing We Are Going Through Got Serious, this was my 10th Thought of 10 🙂 ! LOL! So yes, it looks right now we will get our volume 5 after all…. 🙂 He has talked about this Viet Nam trip FOREVER! LMAO!
NEW YORK (AP) — On most days since the coronavirus spread through Manhattan, Robert Caro has held to a familiar routine. He rises early, walks to his office down the street, spends hours on the fifth and final volume of his Lyndon Johnson biography and enjoys a late-day stroll in Central Park with his wife, Ina, both of them wearing protective masks.
“The park is sort of beautiful without people in it,” he said during a recent telephone interview with The Associated Press.
The 84-year-old Caro jokes that he has a long history, like many writers, of social distancing. But the pandemic has touched him personally and professionally. A close friend, the author and actress Patricia Bosworth, died last month from the virus. Spring is usually a prime season in New York for literary events, but all have been canceled and the Caros are staying in their apartment when possible, letting one of their children bring them groceries.
The historian had been hoping to visit Vietnam in March as part of his research for his Johnson book, but postponed the trip. He needs to looks through some papers in the Johnson presidential library in Austin, Texas, but is resigned to waiting indefinitely. “That’s a great frustration,” he acknowledged.
Meanwhile, he is so immersed in one section of the last Johnson volume, set during 1967, that he is not leaving for his more rural and presumably safer home on Long Island until he’s done. The section, he says, “is as long as many books,” a description his many readers would find easy to believe.
Caro began the Johnson books in the mid-1970s, around the time he turned 40. He has completed four volumes, totaling more than 3,000 pages, and has outlived many of his key sources. He was loathed by some Johnson loyalists for his second book in the series, “Means of Ascent,” which presented Johnson as a boorish man and a singularly ruthless and unprincipled politician. But the mood shifted after Vol. III, “Master of the Senate,” published in 2002 and a defining chronicle of Johnson’s legislative genius that politicians today still study.
His most recent book, “The Passage of Power,” came out eight years ago this month. Its story ended in mid-1964, with Johnson on the verge of passing an extraordinary run of legislation that had many celebrating him as a fulfiller — and even exceeder — of the hopes and vision of the assassinated John F. Kennedy.
But by 1967, when Joan Didion wrote “the center was not holding,” the country and Johnson’s presidency were unraveling. Riots devastated Detroit and Newark, New Jersey, among other cities; hundreds of thousands of troops were in Vietnam; inflation was taking hold and Congress was resisting continued funding for his Great Society domestic programs.
“He’s in a moment of crisis,” Caro says. “I’m trying to show in this section of this book what it’s like to be president of the United States when everything is going wrong.”
According to Caro’s publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, no book receives more inquiries about its completion than the last Johnson volume, even though anyone with a long memory, a love for history or access to Wikipedia knows how his life turns out. The escalation of the Vietnam War, and the failure to win in it or reach a negotiated settlement, drove Johnson to announce in March 1968 that he would not seek re-election. He lived just four years after leaving the White House, dying of a heart attack in January 1973, at age 64.
“As great as his (Caro’s) earlier books have been, this is the culmination, the one many of us have been waiting for,” the journalist-historian David Maraniss, whose books include a prize-winning work on 1967, “They Marched Into Sunlight,” wrote in an email to the AP. “Everything that came before leads to these years, all of LBJ’s work and all of Caro’s amazing reconstruction and assessment, when the world explodes at home and overseas and Johnson struggles with his powers, his beliefs, and his soul.
The highlights of Johnson’s career are well chronicled, but Caro’s books stand out for the moments when he pauses the narrative and explores in depth how government works — whether the passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Bills that Johnson shepherded while Senate Majority Leader, or his first days as president, when Kennedy’s death instantaneously transformed Johnson from a depressed and endangered vice president to the world’s most powerful man.
“Bob has an unusually devoted following among readers because he has a powerful narrative voice that lends high drama to everything that he describes,” fellow historian Ron Chernow wrote in an email to the AP. “Those who don’t read biography imagine that great length is a deterrent. But genuine readers of biography crave stories on an epic scale and that Bob always delivers reliably and brilliantly.”
In the new book, Caro plans a takeout on what it was like to be elderly before the passage, in 1965, of Medicare. Talking about his section on 1967, he explains that Johnson had once been confident that the country could fight wars both home and abroad — defeat the North Vietnamese overseas and conquer poverty in the United States.
By 1967, “he’s found out that he’s wrong, although he doesn’t admit that he’s wrong,” Caro said.
When asked, inevitably, how soon he will be done with Vol. 5, Caro declines to say directly and give what he calls his standard answer: “It doesn’t matter how long a book takes, what matters is how long a book lasts.” He has received virtually every literary prize, but he savors more private and unexpected tributes, like seeing a young person carrying a copy of one of his books. He then speaks of a recent letter, sent to his literary agent by the fiancee of a judge dying of cancer, that compelled him to respond.
“The fiancee wrote this beautiful letter, saying that my books meant a great deal to him, and that a letter would mean a lot to him,” Caro says. “So I spent a couple of hours composing a letter. I try to answer handwritten letters and I’ve been getting more of them since the pandemic. I used to get mostly emails. Handwritten letters had almost stopped.”
This sentence is being produced as Day 3, Hour Five (of 24!) is about to begin. It’s been interesting seeing, feeling such concentrated Mumia stuff in one 72-hour or so period. For those of us old-heads (my first article about Abu-Jamal was written in early 1995, before Live From Death Row was released, it’s Old Home Week–all the old interviews joined with the original and more recent commentaries. Joined with activists young and not-so-young, sharing rhymes of all sorts. Powerful video collection starring Debbie and Mike Africa Sr., married members of the MOVE 9, and Jr.! (HOUR 10/11 UPDATE: Very detailed Inside the Activist Studio interview with Sekou Odinga.)
Since I already knew that Abu-Jamal has written so many columns, you can divide them into categories and display them chronologically, here are two important things I’ve gotten thus far:
- During Friday’s Teach-in, Johanna Fernandez, who correctly described how Abu-Jamal “disciplined his prose” in prison, said she and her fellow organizers were inspired by the fact that the movement to stop Abu-Jamal from being executed on August 17, 1995, was the first radical movement to use email and the Internet.
- Kathy Boudin, a legend in radical Left circles, proclaimed that Abu-Jamal was a “tremendous inspiration” to her because of his example of resistance and his very productivity, his very effective use of time. Boudin said the imprisoned writer, 38 of 66 years in jail now, was worthy of celebration because of a) his leadership in showing how to use incarceration and b) his life of resistance. Abu-Jamal, she explained, is someone who “has been able to both immerse himself inside of the actual reality of the life he’s living in prison and at the same time he is able to work to define the larger system we are in,” of which COVID-19 is just a metaphor (if not a symptom). As an Abu-Jamal biographer with a full first draft to read and review, her comments were undeniably incisive.
Some freestyling comments from the subject, dated on his birthday (4/24/20):
I’m listening to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo now as I type, telling me how long COVID can stick on surfaces and hang in the air. He’s become my daily obsession. The Mumia Abu-Jamal event I’m waiting for is a little less than four hours ahead.
Still meditating on what happened just a couple of hours ago. I opened the front door, unmasked, waiting for my Whole Foods delivery, and immediately saw a sanitation worker–Friday is Garbage Day in our ward–in distress. Something powderish (?) had spilled on his face while working on our block, and he was less than panicked but more than disturbed.
He asked for warm water and soap and, thanks to me and the homeowner, Annette Alston, we quickly compiled.
Coming back out, I hear a voice to my right yell, “Amazon!” Delivery Dude is peeping the happenin’, so he quickly drops my bags at the foot of the stairs (social distancing, rigghht) and does a great imitation of Ricochet Rabbit. Annette hands me my mask to wear–after all, I’m now in close proximity to two people–and for the first time since the Apocolopyse, I wear it. I’ve been inside the house for weeks, writing my Mumia bio–only leaving the house to take out the garbage–so I hadn’t fully accepted this reality until I finally yielded to Paul Lawrence Dunbar.
Cuomo is talking now about an “economic tsunami” and is daring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) to allow states to declare bankruptcy legally. “I dare you to do that!”
I really felt for the Sanitation Brother, an Essential Worker. This is not the time to be dealing with unknown substances. What was on his face? Oh, man…..
A neighbor from across the street is checking from her window, asking about his welfare. (Newark is a small town that, paradoxically and correctly, looks like a Big Ghetto from the outside.)
“What did we learn?” Cuomo is asking.
As a “lifelong student of Black media” (a quote from my bio), it’s fascinating how fast we have Zoomed along. We were well along the road to becoming our own Black public-affairs shows via Facebook Live before the drip-blip, but it’ll be interesting to see how much of Black America will just junk prepared broadcast packages altogether for the live and interactive, the digital harambee. (Meanwhile, The Afro-American newspaper is trying to hold on, having laid off 25 percent of its staff.) I like to approach the study and teaching of media history from many perspectives, and one is from the changing of habits. Are we, slowly and eventually, the “B-SPAN” (Black C-SPAN) I’ve/we’ve been looking for?
Cuomo reads a letter from a Kansas farmer who has sent a mask for a New York health worker. “God Bless America,” Cuomo declared, who is not, he keeps saying, running for president. 🙂
Now he’s talking about taking versus giving. I’m glad Annette and I were able to help the brother. In this time of fear and uncertainty, our community is standing steady. He thanked me as, of course, we are all thanking them.
1) Now everyone will see Newark the way I see it: as a small town. Treating it as a “small town with deadly secrets” was amusing. It is a place where, if you ride a bus or sit somewhere and be quiet, you will hear Old Heads talk about their time with The Nation. Now I finally understand why, in a city where historically you can get killed for looking at someone wrong, Bradley was able to walk around untouched. You also now know that we, as a group, care more about collective, community advancement than ideology and argument: the comment by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka that he learned from his father to “leave that alone because that won’t advance our cause” is classic Newark. Congrats to my brother, Baba Zayid Muhammad, for his honesty in this documentary. He educated me a lot about what this Black Power city is still like. I absolutely believe that Newark “got there first” in Black Power zealotry.
2) Continuing with Newark: why would Bradley be in Booker’s Newark mayor campaign commercial? Why would New Jersey Lt. Gov. Shelia Oliver be at Bradley’s funeral when she knew?!? Point-blank, Newark is a community service city, and all the community servants know each other. If you do “change your life around” and “do something positive,” particularly for our youth, we wipe your slate clean. That how we be. If Bradley had killed, say, Rahim Johnson, it wouldn’t even be brought up.
3) Last Newark note: I love the irony of Bradley’s high school being eventually being renamed after Malcolm. 🙂
4) It was extremely annoying that Peter Goldman, who wrote 85 percent of this documentary’s content back in the 1970s (!!!!!), was almost invisible, blotted out. The only thing more annoying is that Baba Zak Kondo was “second historical bananna” to David Garrow–this documentary’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kondo should have been the main voice here, and his wrap-up almost redeems this time-waster.
5) The big winner here was WABC-TV, who clearly sold a lot of footage. (Why did the documentarians keep misdating that Talmadge Hayer interview as 1970? That was very annoying and needs to be fixed!) See how great “Like It Is” was, folks outside of New York? Today I am very proud to have a doctoral dissertation that has a small part devoted to it. I will appreciate this Nextflix series forever if it leads to the show finally getting archived.
6) The “search” for Bradley was ridiculous stagecraft. And where were articles like these, since Bradley was so difficult to find? LOL! This program could have easily been cut by three hours. The phony drama should have been replaced with more on the Ali-Malcolm schism. That deserves its own doc or movie.
7) And speaking of future MX media products, my vote for the next movie or documentary needs to be solely based on his extraordinary travel diary. The fact that Malcolm tried to unify the African-Muslim world–and that he chose to return to America when he had choices to possibly stay alive longer–is a story that desperately needs to be told.
8) Um, where was this part? Did I miss it when I was in the bathroom? Did I miss any mention of the Minister? What’s going on? And if Goldman and Kondo were read so carefully, why didn’t Obi-Wan tell Luke that the FBI reported that Louis X was at the Newark mosque on the day of the assassination?!?
9) This could have been a lot worse, seeing that Henry Louis “Skip” Gates was the exec producer and Manning Marable’s wife a consultant. At least this is better than Spike’s treatment. This puts Spike’s movie in the fiction category the way Marable’s disastrous bio, at its best, put The Autobiography in that same category.