Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On May 19th Malcolmites observe the 87th anniversary of the birth of Malcolm X with the 46th annual pilgrimage to his gravesite

PO BOX 380-122, BROOKLYN, NY 11238
718 512 5008
"You get your freedom by letting your enemy know
that you'll do anything to get it!"…
Malcolm X
April 30, 2012


     On Saturday, May 19th, the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) and the Sons and Daughters of Afrika will observe the 87th anniversary of the birth of Malcolm X with the 46th annual pilgrimage to his gravesite at Ferncliff Cemetery in Ardsley, NY.
     Busses will assemble at the Harlem St Office Building, 163 W. 125th St. in Harlem at 9am and will depart sharply at 10am for Ferncliff Cemetery.
     There is a donation of $9.00 and $5.00 for adults and children respectively. Families and groups interested in making reservations must do so in advance by calling 718 512 5008. There are also group packages available.
     The pilgrimage to the gravesite was conceived by Malcolm's late 'big' sister Ella Little-Collins, who was then chairperson for the OAAU. It has been observed every year by the OAAU since 1966. The Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, then under the leadership of Herman Ferguson, expanded participation in the pilgrimage by more than double its early participation since their first participation in 1993.
     In 2000, Baba James Small, who has maintained the pilgrimage and who has overseen almost every pilgrimage since its inception, asked the New Black Panther Party, under area leadership of Zayid Muhammad, the Committee's press officer, to serve as the ceremony's 'Honor Guard.' The Party has proudly been a fixture in that role ever since.
     A pall of absence is cast over this year's pilgrimage with recent passing of two important carriers of Malcolm's legacy. On March 2nd, we endured the death of Nuyorican poet and master teacher Louis Reyes Rivera, whose poem, A Place I Never Been, on the assassination may be the most heralded poetic appreciation of our 'Black Shining Prince' to date! On April 5th, we endured the death of award-winning broadcast journalist and pioneer Gil Noble. Noble's work on Malcolm are central to any serious film study of him. He won his first Emmy Award for his bio-doc, Malcolm X-El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. His film, The Loss of Our Warrior, is the only film that addresses and captures perhaps the most important dimension of Malcolm's revolutionary legacy, his legacy as a tireless, driven organizer!
     "My two favorite pilgrimage memories involve both of these new ancestors," explained a reflective Zayid Muhammad, MXCC's founding press officer.
     "In our first participation, Earl Grant, one of Malcolm's most trusted and ferocious comrades, and I literally collapsed in tears over his gravesite in each other's arms. It was the first time either of us had been there. That sight of two proven soldiers, one old and one young, captured in bare open emotion, captures what Malcolm has meant to so many over two generations in a very personal and profound way. Gil, personally armed with his legendary third eye, got it on tape."
    In 2000, under a pouring, unsympathetic rain, I turned Louis loose on us with his poem," he recalled further.
"He made everyone forget that rain and re-embrace with love and steel the gravity of why we were all there."
    The Organization of AfroAmerican Unity was launched by Malcolm X on June 28, 1964 at the Audubon Ballroom in New York and where he was ultimately assassinated on February 21, 1965. The organization continued after his assassination under Ella Little-Collins' leadership. It is currently headed up by his nephew and her son, Rodnell Collins, author of The Seventh Child...

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