Today in history… May 19, 1925, Malcolm Little/Malcolm X/El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the 4th of 7 children, to Earl Little and Louise Norton.
Of course, I’m sure we all know of Spike Lee’s 1992 film based on the life of the man – a film that will rest among the nation’s treasures in the world’s largest archive of film, TV and sound recordings; just over a year ago, it was inducted for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
And by the way, it’s now officially on Blu-ray, finally released in that format last year. So you can pick up a copy if you haven’t yet.
You can also watch Orlando Bagwell’s 2 1/2 hour 1994 documentary, Malcolm X: Make It Plain, narrated by Alfre Woodard – a film that paints a comprehensive portrait of Malcolm X – hustler, visionary, husband and father, dynamic orator and, after spending time in prison, Minister Malcolm, the fiery, eloquent spokesman for the Nation of Islam; and finally as El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, internationally recognized leader and advocate for oppressed peoples – loved and despised, revered and feared… until he was assassinated at the young age of 39.
The entire 2 1/2 hour film is on YouTube, and I’ve embedded it below, so you can watch it in full, if you haven’t already. It’s a solid documentary and very well worth viewing, especially on his birthday, as well as a miserable “stay inside” weather day (in New York City anyway).
Here it is: