EXCERPT FROM “BLOOD BROTHERS” | REPUBLISHED BY NBC NEWS
Share on Facebook & Twitter
Cassius stretched his neck as he watched an honor guard escort Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm, and other officials onto the speaker’s platform. Standing amid the awestruck silence, he felt the crowd’s reverence for the Messenger. After exchanging the traditional greetings, As-Salaam-Alaikum and Wa-Alaikum-Salaam, Malcolm delivered his opening remarks and defended the Nation’s doctrine. “We are not a sect or a cult, nor are we a hate group,” he asserted. “We are a group of people who have accepted the Islamic faith and believe that Allah is the Supreme Being.”
When Malcolm finished, Muhammad, the featured speaker, rose from his large chair, like a royal descending from his throne, and walked over to the lectern. Cassius listened attentively as the slight man with a receding hairline forcefully asserted that the “so-called Negro” had been enslaved for more than four hundred years, echoing what Clay had heard at the Miami mosque. “That is a long time for a master to mistreat you,” he said. For two hours, Muhammad zealously preached while Cassius and Rudy sat well back in the crowded arena, “practically leading the applause.”
PROFESSIONAL BOXER – Social Activist
Muhammad Ali born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, generally considered the greatest heavyweight in the history of the sport. Early in his career, Ali was known for being an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the boxing ring. He is one of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.
MORE / WEBSITE
AMERICAN MUSLIM MINISTER – Human Rights Activist
Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little and also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.
MORE / WEBSITE
The message Clay heard that day jived with what he had learned from his father—keep your distance from white men; they will never treat a black man fairly. It reinforced what he had read in newspapers and magazines and seen on television—images of the mutilated body of Emmett Till, the bombing of Martin Luther King’s Montgomery home, and a white mob assaulting black teenagers outside a Little Rock high school.
READ MORE NBC NEWS