Impact of Malcolm X on my consciousness

Repost from May 19th 2015

Reflective note on the impact of Malcolm X on my consciousness

The great Malcolm X would have turned 90 today and it is hard to imagine a world without Malcolm X.As an Eritrean I grow up with the mindset that being Eritrean is like being on an island alone and everyone else was somewhere else.I feel this is due to Eritrea’s history from the silence of Africa and not getting any support or understanding from black America during our struggle against Ethiopian colonialism.During my earlier years I never self identify myself as black due to the betrayal of Eritrea also I felt culturally out of place from the black experience.Never saw myself as separate from the black diaspora but had a deep disdain on being forced to identify as black because I felt it erases my Eritrean identity. I would get into fights at school and arguments when people called me “black” or “Ethiopian” as I was solely driven by letting people know I was Eritrean.

But as I matured politically I began to relate better to the black experience by understanding white supremacy impact on Eritrea. I now firmly identify myself as black racially and i wholeheartedly admire black America resiliency from the struggles of slavery,Jim crow,to present day institutionalized racism.

My transition in consciousness and how i view my identity and race throughout my life is influenced by The Autobiography of Malcolm X book.Sankofa Brown said it perfectly on Malcolm X impact “The greatest lesson I learned from Malcolm X was never be afraid to challenge your own logic, admit shortcomings, and seek to growth”.Political consciousness whether it is fined tuned on Eritrea only or the world is a everyday process as we should continuously question,evolve and admit when we are wrong. I love Malcolm X to my being and his thinking as he has awakened me to look at the world differently and that is the reason why I advocate better connection between black diaspora and Eritrea as our struggles are connected.

Happy Birthday to my hero!