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Entries in malcolm x (4)
His name was Herman Ferguson, and if you’re not dialed into the Black Nationalist Movement, the name may not ring a bell of recognition.
But to those aware of the Black Power Movement of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Herman Ferguson’s life, role and commitment ring like a bell in the night.
For Ferguson — often accompanied by his wife and comrade, Iyaluua Nehanda — joined Black groups that supported the fight for freedom. He joined several, but perhaps few had more historical significance than his joining of both the groups formed by Malcolm X after his painful break from the Nation of Islam: the Organization of African American Unity and the Muslim Mosque, Inc. He met Malcolm in the late 1950s, when he was still in the Nation, and became a staunch supporter thereafter.
In 1967, he and fellow members of the Jamaica Rifle and Pistol Club [in Queens, N.Y.], were arrested and charged with the planned assassination of two prominent Civil Rights leaders. After a conviction a year later, Ferguson fled the U.S., and he and his wife began a life in Guyana [three years later], working in the field of education.
They stayed there for 19 years and lived good lives. Ferguson could have retired with a government pension under his assumed name, “Paul Adams,” for he spent many years as an officer of the Guyana Defense Force.
But the call of home only got louder with time.
Ferguson said he missed his “family,” his “childhood friends” and “the Movement.”
His wife, Iyaluua, said, “I don’t think people really understand the nature of exile.” She explained, “Exile is death.”
So, Herman Ferguson and his wife returned to the U.S., where he knew a jail cell awaited him. But he did so, in part, because the weather had changed, in that the release of top-secret Cointelpro files revealed FBI skullduggery against Black and anti-war activists. Also, several prominent Black Panther figures [like the late Black Panther Party minister of information, Eldridge Cleaver] and the Weathermen [a white anti-imperialist group] had returned to the States.
He did three years, got out and hit the ground running, working on behalf of other imprisoned revolutionaries by organizing, speaking out and building support for such efforts. He and his wife gave deep and broad support to the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, headquartered in New York.
For over 50 years he fought for the same ideas and principles that Malcolm supported: Black Nationalism, popular self-defense and Black self-determination.
Now, after 93 years of life, Baba Herman Ferguson has returned to the ancestors.
Today is the 48th Anniversary of the killing of the brilliant hero, Malcolm X. While he may have left us in the physical sense, his message and spirit are still present. Today more than ever we continue to need Malcolm's message because many of the issues he fought against surrounding racism and human rights violations are still present in our society. We often wonder what Malcolm would have to say if he were here today. Thankfully we can still draw from his writings and speeches. Take the time out to do so for yourself and get connected/reconnected with this brilliant man. You can find many of his famous speeches on youtube these days so take a look and listen up.
In this election year in New York City, we thought sharing this speech made by Malcolm known as, "The Ballot of The Bullet" to be very appropriate. Enjoy.
Opens Friday, July 15, 2011 through Saturday, January 7, 2012
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - Malcolm X: A Search for Truth will provide the general public an opportunity to examine materials from the Malcolm X collection. The Malcolm X collection is unique in that it contains a wide range of speeches, sermons, radio broadcasts, diaries, correspondence, and other documents handwritten by Malcolm X or typed and edited at his direction. Most significantly, Malcolm X: A Search for Truth will offer the public fresh new insights into the nature of his thoughts and development, as well as his multifaceted, at times seemingly contradictory, persona and personality.
On Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 the
Malcolm X Commemoration Committee (MXCC) held a press conference condemning the pending release of Talmadge Hayer, a confessed assassin of Malcolm X, outside of the former Audubon Ballroom where Malcolm X was assassinated.