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There I was standing at the bar in a black dress, holding my glass of Riesling, while slightly dancing to the band as they played Anita Baker’s song “Been so long.” As you can imagine the atmosphere was amazing and I was having a great time. The night was coming to an end when a gentleman walked up to me and told me I should come upstairs- where the real party was. This wasn’t the first time he mentioned that, so since the band began to pack up I decided to go upstairs.

Upstairs there was another bar, more people, and a DJ. The DJ’s music wasn’t as loud as the band so it was easy to have a conversation and be heard. He starts to talk and asks me what I do. I explained to him that I was a writer and recently published a book. He immediately starts to tell me that we need to get together because he wants to publish a book about his life.

I’m all about a dollar, so, I agreed! He began to tell me he was in prison for a while and is a member of the Nation of Islam (NOI). Shame on me for being intrigued by his religion; I couldn’t resist asking him about his personal feelings about Malcolm X. Keep in mind a couple of years ago the two men that were charged with the actual murder of Malcolm X (one of them still says he had nothing to do with it) were released and the NOI was asked to give a comment and they declined (gives major side eye).

The gentleman’s response in a nutshell was that Malcolm X’s ego and love for the microphone is what killed him. He also stated that the NOI shouldn’t have made a comment about the alleged killers of Malcolm X being released. Before I could say anything he said and I quote “Don’t let that movie fool you!” At that moment I had to speak. I explained to him that I’ve read the autobiography of Malcolm X, so the movie doesn’t fool me!

I explained to him that by the NOI not making a comment about the release of the alleged killers shows that they are still not over Malcolm X exposing The Honorable Elijah Mohammed. He then told me that Malcolm X just played on the emotions of women. Although, I didn’t agree with that statement I said “Don’t all religious leaders play on the emotions of the people in some way?” I don’t consider exposing the dirty deeds of a leader with mutiple women and children all over as playing on the emotions of women.

I was ready to shut him up so this is what I said- Malcolm X is bigger than the NOI and it’s mainly the fault of the NOI for his everlasting name! He was clearly upset. He stated that one man can not be bigger than the NOI. Let’s be real who has a stamp and who doesn’t? Whose life and death are acknowledged and celebrated?! It’s unfortunate that Icons and Legends such as Brother Malcolm aren’t appreciated for their brilliance while they are alive! However, his untimely death was orchestrated by the NOI, their plan to get rid of him only made him live forever!

That’s kind of what I call IRONY! From that conversation it seems that the NOI still has animosity and/or jealousy for a man that is dead, which is extremely disheartening to say the least. One last thing that the gentleman at the bar said was “if it weren’t for the NOI Malcolm X wouldn’t be Malcolm X.” I informed him that our destiny is already written out for us, he was going to be who he was regardless of the stops along his journey!

I view this conversation and the events of the past as a lesson. Instead of following others and focusing on what someone else may be doing never let negative feelings such as hate or jealousy for another person take over your mind! If you do, you may end up giving them all the power, praise, and longevity that you envied to begin with.

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