For Example wether New Afrikan people struggle to create a seperate socialist existence on distinct territory depends-upon what New Afrikan people do or fail to do. Wether New Afrikans join with others to make a socialist revolution in/for the whole of the U.S. depends-upon what New Afrikans and others do or fail to do. let me hasten to point out: “New Afrikans” I don’t mean Black people.. I mean those who come to identify there Nationality as “New Afrikan” and who thus exhibit the consciousness and embrace the values and philosophy.. those who pursue goals of “New Afrikans” to me being a New Afrikan is not about the color of ones skin, but about ones thought and practice I know that not everyones agrees with this but that’s their problem” – Comrad Atiba Shanna (Owusu Yaki Yakuba aka James Sayles)
Malcolm X Model of Personal Transformation
Malcolm was transferred to the Norfolk Prison Colony in Concord Massachusetts, in 1948. There, he received a letter from his brother, Philbert, who said that he had joined the “Nation of Islam,” and he urged Malcolm to “pray for deliverance.” Malcolm wasn¹t ready to hear anything about religion. His attitude changed, however, after he received a letter from another of his brothers, Reginald. Because Reginald knew how Malcolm¹s street hustler mind worked, his approach was more effective than Philbert¹s. Reginald told Malcolm to stop eating pork, to stop smoking cigarettes, and that he would show Malcolm how to get out of prison. Malcolm took the bait. What initially regarded as a probably con to be worked on the prison authorities, turned out to be the next step in the process of his transformation:
For the next years, I was the nearest thing to a hermit in the Norfolk Prison Colony. I never have been more busy in my life. I still marvel at how swiftly my previous life¹s thinking pattern slid away from meŠ It is as though someone else I knew of had lived by hustling and crime. I would be startled to catch myself thinking in a remote way of my earlier self as another person.
It was at this point in his life that Malcolm began to read selectively and critically, and to develop intellectual discipline to complement his spiritual and moral development. For New Afrikan women and men held in U.S. prisons, Malcolm stands as an example of the way in which We can free ourselves, even though behind prison walls. Malcolm attained his freedom long before he was released from prison when he began to read, to think, to question his old habits and values. If Malcolm had not used his time in prison to change his life, he would not have left us ideas and a life worthy of examination and emulation. Moreover, if Malcolm had not changed his life while in prison, he would have returned to the life of the “criminal” and the oppressed colonial subject. The parable of Job, which Elijah Muhammad used in introducing Malcolm to the Nation of Islam soon after Malcolm¹s release from prison, is instructive. Mr. Muhammad told the gathering that Malcolm had been strong while in prison. Malcolm reports that he then said:
When God had bragged about how faithful Job was the devil said only God¹s hedge around Job kept Job so faithful. “Remove that protective hedge,” the devil told God, “and I will make Job curse you to your face.”
The devil could claim that, hedged in prison, I had just used Islam, Mr. Muhammad said. But the devil would say that now, out of prison, I would return to my drinking, smoking, dope, and life of crime.
We can go through the motions of changing our lives while in prison, or otherwise but the test of the truth comes when the prison doors are opened, or, when otherwise We¹re confronted with situations which test our characters. Nevertheless before We can remain faithful, We must first become faithful. Malcolm¹s prison transformation can be a model for our own.
Haki Kweli Shakur ATC NAPLA NAIM MOI 1-25-52 ADM