Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

African History, Racism

Malcolm X – “we need a mau mau”

Malcolm on BC_1.jpg

Black Commentator chooses to reproduce the “Chickens Come Home to Roost” speech made during Malcolm’s “Nation of Islam Days”

When this speech was delivered, Malcolm X was at the height of his influence as a minister and spokesman for the Nation of Islam. He was largely credited with increasing NOI national membership to 30,000 from an estimated 500 in 1952, the year Malcolm left prison as a follower of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

I prefer the “Prospects for Freedom” speech which he made in 1965 after his return from Haj in Mecca and visiting a number of African countries. In this speech he had shed the NOI separatist and religious dogma that is contained in the early speeches but maintains his uncompromising attack against white supremacy, colonialism and racism. During the speech he speaks about the struggle for freedom by the Mau Mau in Kenya and Africa in general “by any means necessary”. The speech is also critical of the Nation of Islam stating it operates in an uncompromising vacuum that has some moral authority but is not politically relevant to the Black masses of America and he explains his reasons for starting the “The Organisation of Afro-American Unity”.

Towards the end makes he asks “what will they give us in 1965?” and we are reminded of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. The question is “what will they give us in 2008?” will it be what Malcolm would call “the latest gimmick” in the form of Obama for America…”

I just read where they plan to make a black cabinet member – they are gonna take one of the their boys, black boys and put him in the cabinet – so he can walk around Washington with a cigar, fire on one end and fool [not clear] on the other hand. And because his immediate personal problem would have been solved he will be the one to tell our people look how much progress we’re making, I’m in Washington DC, I can have tea in the White House, I’m your spokesman, I’m your leader while our people are still living in Harlem in the slums…. but will it work?”

It is also the birthday of another Black activist, play write, Lorraine Hansberry author of “A Raisin in the Sun”

Very fittingly today is my son’s birthday: Happy birthday Son – a good day to be born!

Below is an edited version of the speech – worth the time to listen.



  1. Happy birthday to Malcolm, happy birthday to your son. May he grow to be a great person, too.

  2. Many thanks for the post. Everyone seems to have forgotten about him!

  3. Happy birthday to your son, Sokari.

1 Pingback

  1. Black Looks