I am responding to the Jan. 11 letter of my former colleague, professor Roy C. DeLamotte, about Malcolm X. His remarks were sincere and genuine. He conveyed Malcolm's positive contribution to our great nation. He revealed that Malcolm's influence made it possible for many African-Americans to rid themselves of plantation mentalities. This alone was a big step in helping to improve the psychological degradation that stifled the majority of African-Americans from demanding their equal rights and speaking out against injustices.
I personally have always had a special place in my heart for Malcolm, because he was assassinated on Sunday, Feb. 21, 1965, the day of my birthday. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge this great American hero.
I consider Malcolm's claim to American historical fame to be equivalent to colonial American hero Patrick Henry, who spoke out against the oppression that Great Britain subjected American colonists to. He stated, "Give me liberty or give me death." He was determined to see his fellow colonists become free from British domination. On the other hand, Malcolm wanted African-Americans to be freed from an oppressive, exploitive and racist American system that treated them as plantation slaves. He indicated that this oppression would be stopped "by using any means necessary." It's obvious these two Americans had a lot in common.
Mr. DeLamotte and I have a true understanding of Malcolm because we've read one of the greatest books of all times, The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
It's my recommendation that this book be read by individuals who have false and ignorant perceptions of Malcolm. And I'm in total agreement with Mr. DeLamotte's view that Malcolm is more than deserving of a commemorative U.S. postage stamp printed in his honor for his American heroics.
E. Maner, Augusta