19 may 1968 & dcps black student union commemorates malcolm x
#OTD 19 May 1968 The Black Student Union (BSU) of DC Public Schools and other Washingtonians commemorated Malcolm X's birthday by creating educational materials about him and by organizing to make his birthday a city holiday.
The publication pictured above, "Who Was Malcolm X? El Hajj Malik El Shabazz," was written and produced by the BSU. The 8-page document includes essays on his life, why they are demanding a city holiday on his birthday, the importance of unity, the role of intellectuals and the novel Animal Farm. There are also poems. One, titled "A Conversation," was written by E. Jolynn Hope.
Some of the quotes from the title page:
"I am not an American, but a victim of Americanism..."
"The entire East, the dark world, is on the rise."
"Our interests are world-wide, rather than limited to things American..."
The BSU was also part of a larger effort to make Malcolm X's birthday a city holiday. The Malcolm X Memorial Committee led this organizing, which included making demands on the City Council and calling upon businesses to close, at least part of the day, in recognition of his birthday.
Your comments are welcome below. Were you, a family member or neighbor active with the BSU? Did you work on this publication? Do you remember E. Jolynn Hope? Were you part of the Malcolm X Memorial Committee? You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy of Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University. Youth Pride Records, Box 11 Folder 51, 1968-1970
Keith A. Mayes, author of Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Tradition (2009).