I give the people at Word Press credit to start something back up that used to be a hit with many bloggers whether they are new to the blogsphere or old and seasoned. Even if it is temporary, let’s hope that they will consider making the daily writing prompts part of everyday Word press life again.
Day 14 prompt is “book”; well this got me pondering. I’ve read many books that were written by many Authors from a variety of cultures. But there was one that stood out the most. That is “The Autobiography of Malcom X” as told by Alex Haley.
Back in the channels of yesteryear; being somewhat impressionable I used to attend the weekly political meetings sponsored by the political party called the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). This is where I was rubbing elbows with some political wanabees. I have to admit some were disgruntled, some wanted to be activists, some even secured backing from the SWP and ran for office of the Mayor, and other local elected positions and the more ambitious ones even ran for Congress. The results were always the same. They would lose. I often wondered what was the point. The campaigns were never competing with the big two parties.
The meetings took place at the party’s book store. You see the party has a propaganda wing; a printing press and publishing company called “Pathfinder.” They printed the weekly newspaper called the “Militant.” They also published speeches, made by notable political figures ranging from Cuba’s Fidel Castro, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, Bantu Steve Biko, and other freedom fighters from around the world.
At one particular meeting I got into a discussion with one of the party officials. I don’t particularly remember the subject itself. It was one of those things that might have seemed like an issue at that point in time; but the annals of time determined otherwise; so the subject matter isn’t even an afterthought. But somehow Malcolm X became the subject of discussion.
I didn’t know too much about Malcolm X back then; other then what I heard here and there. The party official broke the news to me and said, that Malcom X used to be a regular speaker on the SWP platform. I didn’t believe a word he said; and I told him so.
Seeing that my knowledge of Malcolm X was limited; he went to the book store shelf and pulled a copy of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told by Alex Haley. He gave it to me free of charge and said that it is important that I read this. Then he showed me various pictures from the “Militant” archives of Malcom X speaking on their platform.
I took that book home with the intention to make sure that I’m armed with information about him so that I know what I’m talking about the next time I have a discussion with that official.
Little did I know that this book would open my eyes to many things; and also stuff that I never really paid attention too. Not only was the book an excited read; Malcolm X was revealed to be a complexed and interesting figure. I also learned that the influence of Elijah Muhammad and Marcus Garvey is legendary.
Has that group been banned yet? The way things are going here with the lack of freedom and over-zealous political correctness, anything even slightly controversial is getting banned!
I stopped associating with that group many years ago. So at this point I don’t know.
The book store closed; they don’t have people walking around selling the Militant anymore; I haven’t seen any of their candidates on the ballots anymore. Even the building where their printing press was is now a condo.
By chance when I was writing this article I did a search on the net to see if the printing company is still around. Sure enough I found their website.
nothing mentioned about the Party…