“Again, the actor Ossie Davis stood. His deep voice delivered the eulogy to Malcolm X which was going to cause Davis subsequently to be hailed more than ever among Negroes in Harlem: “Here—at this final hour, in this quiet place, Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes—extinguished now, and gone from us forever…. “Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain—and we will smile…. They will say that he is of hate—a fanatic, a racist—who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! “And we will answer and say unto them: Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did you would know him. And if you knew him you would know why we must honor him: Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood! This was his meaning to his people. And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves…. And we will know him then for what he was and is—a Prince—our own black shining Prince!—who didn’t hesitate to die, because he loved us so.””
— The Autobiography of Malcolm X by MALCOLM X
I knew about Malcolm as someone who grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s but I had the perspective of a white man. I saw him as a threat and frightening to me. I didn’t understand the back story until reading this book. I now know more about this amazing man who was truly a prophetic voice for all Americans.