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Malcolm X’s Visit To Nigeria In 1959 And 1964

Who was Malcolm X?

Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, was a world-renowned African-American human right activist and Islamic leader who tirelessly fought for the liberation of Black Americans.

Malcolm X at the University of Ibadan, 1964
Malcolm X at the University of Ibadan, 1964

His charisma and oratory skills helped him achieve national prominence in the Nation of Islam, a belief system that merged Islam with Black nationalism. He later changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.

Malcolm X in Nigeria

Malcolm X visited Nigeria on two occasions, one in 1959 and the other in 1964. His first visit to Nigeria in 1959 was to arrange a tour for Elijah Muhammad, the leader of ‘Nation of Islam’, a black Muslim organization in America.

Malcolm X’s second visit to Nigeria was in 1964. During this visit, he rendered a beautiful and brilliant speech at the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan. Malcolm X was given a Yoruba name Omowale (which literally means ‘the child has come home’) by the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) at a reception held at the Students’ Union hall.

At a press conference in New York, Malcolm X testified that the reception given to him by students in Nigeria was one of the highest honours he received in his life.

Malcolm X in Nigeria
Malcolm X and Nigerian students at a reception held in Nigeria, 1964 | NPP

Malcolm X was very happy and proud of the black race throughout his stay in Nigeria. In a letter he wrote after leaving Lagos for Accra, he said,

I arrived in Accra yesterday from Lagos, Nigeria. The natural beauty and wealth of Nigeria and its people are indescribable. It is full of Americans and other whites who are well aware of its untapped natural resources. The same whites, who spit in the faces of blacks in America and sic their police dogs upon us to keep us from “integrating” with them, are seen throughout Africa, bowing, grinning and smiling in an effort to “integrate” with the Africans — they want to “integrate” into Africa’s wealth and beauty. This is ironical.” He furthered “I spoke at Ibadan University in Nigeria, Friday night, and gave the true picture of our plight in America, and of the necessity of the independent African nations helping us bring our case before the United Nations. The reception of the students was tremendous. They made me an honorary member of the “Muslim Students Society of Nigeria,” and renamed me “Omowale,” which means “the child has come home” in the Yoruba language.

www.malcolm-x.org

Thanks for reading, OldNaija.com

References:

  1. Jacobs. Sean (2009). When Malcolm X went to Africa. Africa Is A Country.
  2. Malcolm X: American Muslim leader. Britannica
  3. Malcolm X: Early Life. History.com


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Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (May 31, 2017). Malcolm X’s Visit To Nigeria In 1959 And 1964. OldNaija. Retrieved from https://oldnaija.com/2017/05/31/malcolm-xs-visit-to-nigeria-in-1959-and-1964/

One Comment

  1. POINT OF CORRECTION, MALCOLM X WAS NEVER A GANG STAR AND NEVER WAS HE NOTORIOUS. HE WAS A PETTY THIEF WITH TWO OF HIS FRIENDS, LIKE MOST BLACK YOUTHS OF THE DEPRESSION PERIOD IN USA, HE DODGED CONSCRIPTION INTO THE WORLD WAR A COMPULSORY DUTY FOR PEOPLE OF HIS AGE THAT TIME BECAUSE HE DID NOT BELIEVE IN SUPPORTING THE WHITE MAN. HE DID SOME RUNS IN PEDDLING DRUGS AND GAMBLING. IN ALL HE NEVER KILLED ANYBODY NOR WAS HE WANTED FOR SERIOUS CRIME OR OFFENCES. HE AND SHORTY HIS FRIEND WERE JAILED FOR NON VIOLENT BURGLARY CASE MAINLY BECAUSE THEY WERE BLACKS, THE WHITE MEMBERS OF THE TEAM WERE ABSOLVED OF THE CRIME DUE TO COLOUR DIFFERENCE. FROM THE PRISON HE BECAME A MUSLIM AND AFTER BEING GRANTED BAIL., HE JOINED ‘NATION OF ISLAM’ OF WHICH HE ROSE TO PROMINENCE BECAUSE OF HIS ORATORY SKILL AND HARD LINE STAND AGAINST WHITE SUPREMACY LAWS AND ACTIVITIES. HE LEFT NATION OF ISLAM DUE TO WHAT HE BELIEVED WAS ANTI ISLAMIC BEHAVIOR OF MOHAMMED ELIJAH THE MOVEMENT’S LEADERS TO FOUND HIS OWN PRESSURE GROUP. HE TRAVELED TO AFRICA (INCLUDING NIGERIA), ASIA EUROPE AND MANY COUNTIES IN THE WORLD TO GARNER SUPPORT FOR EQUALITY OF ALL RACES IN USA WHICH THE WHITE SUPREMACY GROUPS LIKE KU KLUX KLAN (KKK), THE JEWS AND OTHERS BENEFITING FROM USA RACIAL SEGREGATION. THEY ALL WANTED TO ELIMINATE HIM FOR HIS RISING PERSONAE AND SEEMINGLY ABILITY TO SUCCEED IN HIS QUEST. THUS THE FBI AND CIA IN CONJUNCTION WITH SOME DISGRUNTLE MEMBERS OF NATION OF ISLAM MADE SEVERAL ASSASSINATION ATTEMPTS AGAINST HIM. HE WAS WAS FINALLY MURDERED AT AUDUBON BALLROOM WHILE DELIVERING A SPEECH TO HIS GROUP ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN AND AMERICAN UNION (OAAU) BY SOME MEMBERS OF NATION OF ISLAM SPONSORED BY FBI AND CIA. HE IS MORE INFLUENTIAL TO SPEEDY ABOLITION OF SEGREGATION AND RACISM IN USA THAN MARTIN LUTHER KING BUT OUT OF DELIBERATE MISINFORMATION AND ATTEMPT TO OBLITERATE HIS NAME AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO USA GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IS HISTORY WAS BEING DOWNPLAYED AND SYSTEMATICALLY CORRUPTED. THANK GOD TODAY, THERE IS RENAISSANCE OF PROMOTION AND CELEBRATION OF ALHADJI MALIK SHABBASH (MALCOLM-X LITTLE) IN THE USA AND WORLD OVER!. HE WAS THE MAIN INFLUENCE ON OUR OWN FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI.

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