Monday, February 28, 2005

A new image

Sunday, February 20, 2005


RIP 40. How would have the world be different if Malcolm had lived?

Friday, February 04, 2005

R.I.P. Ossie Davis

Ossie Davis has passed away at 87. Besides being a great actor in film and on stage and a noted writer, he, along with his wife Ruby Dee, was a constant presence in the struggle for justice. He will be missed. Below is the eulogy he delivered for Malcolm X:

Eulogy for Malcolm X

The following eulogy was delivered by Ossie Davis at the funeral
of Malcolm X on February 27, 1965 at the Faith Temple Church Of

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. For Harlem is where he worked and where
he struggled and fought—his home of homes, where his heart was,
and where his people are—and it is, therefore, most fitting that
we meet once again—in Harlem—to share these last moments
with him.

For Harlem has ever been gracious to those who have loved her, have
fought for her and have defended her honor even to the death. It is
not in the memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate, but
nonetheless proud community has found a braver, more gallant young
champion than this Afro-American who lies before us—unconquered

I say the word again, as he would want me to:
Afro-American—Afro-American Malcolm, who was a master, was most
meticulous in his use of words. Nobody knew better than he the power
words have over minds of men.

Malcolm had stopped being a Negro years ago. It had become too
small, too puny, too weak a word for him. Malcolm was bigger than
that. Malcolm had become an Afro-American, and he wanted—so
desperately—that we, that all his people, would become
Afro-Americans, too.

There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the
Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the
presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the
history of our turbulent times.

Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial
and bold young captain—and we will smile. Many will say turn
away—away from this man; for he is not a man but a demon, a
monster, a subverter and an enemy of the black man—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 to 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. Last year, from Africa, he wrote these words to a
friend: My journey, he says, is almost ended, and I have a
much broader scope than when I started out, which I believe will add
new life and dimension to our struggle for freedom and honor and
dignity in the States.

I am writing these things so that you will know for a fact the
tremendous sympathy and support we have among the African States for
our human rights struggle. The main thing is that we keep a united
front wherein our most valuable time and energy will not be wasted
fighting each other.

However we may have differed with him—or with each other about
him and his value as a man—let his going from us serve only to
bring us together, now.

Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all,
secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more
now a man—but a seed—which, after the winter of our
discontent, will come forth again to meet us.

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.