I was the invited speaker at the Harvard Law School Forum. I happened to glance through a window. Abruptly, I realized that I was looking in the direction of the apartment house that was my old burglary gang's hideout.
It rocked me like a tidal wave. Scenes from my once depraved life lashed through my mind. Living like an animal; thinking like an animal!
Awareness came surging up in me-how deeply the religion of Islam had reached down into the mud to lift me up, to save me from being what I inevitably would have been: a dead criminal in a grave, or, if still alive, a flint-hard, bitter, thirty-seven-year-old convict in some penitentiary, or insane asylum. Or, at best, I would have been an old, fading Detroit Red, hustling, stealing enough for food and narcotics, and myself being stalked as prey by cruelly ambitious younger hustlers such as Detroit Red had been.
But Allah had blessed me to learn about the religion of Islam, which had enabled me to lift myself up from the muck and the mire of this rotting world.
And there I stood, the invited speaker, at Harvard.
—The Autobiography of Malcolm X, p.g 182, chpt-16
Photograph- Malcolm X in Cairo, 1964. Interestingly despite following his every move, in 1958 an FBI informant called him, “a man of high moral character who neither smokes nor drinks.” Apparently, he was seldom late for an appointment. Malcolm X, to this day, remains an enigma. #muchlove my G