Category: Organization of Afro-American Unity

Che Guevara on the CBS current affairs program ‘Face the Nation’ in New York on December 13, 1964. 

While in New York, Malcolm X invited

Che Guevara

to come to the Audubon Ballroom to speak to a meeting of the OAAU [Organization of Afro-American Unity]. Che initially accepted the invitation but later concluded, as he wrote in a message that Malcolm read to the audience, that security “conditions are not good for [my participation in] this meeting.” Che added: “Receive the warm salutations of the Cuban people and especially those of Fidel, who remembers enthusiastically his visit to Harlem a few years ago. United we will win.”

“I love a revolutionary,” Malcolm told the audience at the Audubon that night, as he prepared to read Che’s note. “And one of the most revolutionary men in this country right now was going to come out here … but he thought better of it.” Malcolm cautioned participants never to let anyone choose their friends for them. “I don’t,” Malcolm said. “And you shouldn’t… You and I should practice the habit of weighing people and weighing situations and weighing groups and weighing governments for ourselves.”

(Excerpt from Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power)

Malcolm X – The Progenitor Panther

“If they had not murdered Malcolm X, there probably never would have been a Black Panther Party”- Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party

Malcolm X was always quoted as saying, “History is best qualified to reward all research”. When studying the history of Black people in America in dealing with oppression of the power structure, he saw the necessity for our people to strike back against our oppressors in self-defense and self-determination. Because of the oppression, repression and psychological warfare of self-hate, we have seen ourselves as inferior and not worthy of confronting the reactionary racists at any level of society in a systematic social order enforced system. Behind closed doors, Civil Rights leaders like Martin Luther King, A. Phillip Randolph, Whitney Young, Roy Wilkins and others would use Malcolm’s defiant words as a “counter” to them in order to obtain civil rights cooperation from the power structure. Those leaders would tell government officials, “Look, we are non-violent but outside is that other brother and he is not like us”. US officials would be more flexible in their positions and more willing to negotiate with them or eventually be confronted by Malcolm X – The Progenitor Panther.

Bobby Seale recalls going to McClymonds High School in Oakland to hear Malcolm X speak and indicated that had Malcolm not been killed, the Black Panther Party probably would not have developed. He would have followed Malcolm in the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), modeled after the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on the African continent. Malcolm X aka El-Hajj Malik El Shabazz would inspire young revolutionaries like Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Assata Shakur, Stokely Carmichael and many others who yearned to be a free, independent people – By any means necessary.

In the Autobiography of Malcolm X, writer M.S. Handler wrote in the Introduction about the reaction of his wife to Malcolm after having invited him to their home and served him some tea while he discussed the book with her husband. Handler described what she thought of Brother Malcolm after he departed their residence in these words, “You know, it was like having tea with a black panther”.

(Read the full article via Rolling Out)