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Activists pledge to help people turn off the ‘gangster road’

Lynn Millett, former Black Beret Cadre member, Norwood Salaam, former Black Beret Cadre member, Glenn Fubler, the activist, and Cromwell Shakir, former Black Beret Cadre and Nation of Islam member (Photograph by Sékou Hendrickson)

Community activists have urged those involved in gang activity and criminal lifestyles to follow in the footsteps of the civil rights activist Malcolm X and turn their lives around for the better.

The call to action today, led by Glenn Fubler, was followed by a dozen activists signing a pledge to offer assistance to those who wanted to change their lives.

Mr Fubler said that Malcolm X’s change from petty criminal to prominent activist and Muslim minister renamed Al-Hajj Malik Shabazz highlighted how one’s mistakes did not define who they were.

He added: “Al-Hajj Malik Shabazz’s story reminds us that all of us — including those who have currently chosen the gangster ‘road’ — have the potential for personal transformation.

“We encourage you to make a change, put down your weapons and choose some of the multiple options that are potentially available.

“We know that Malcolm would agree that your life is precious and your potential contribution to our community is vital.”

The signing of the pledge, taking place across from the former Nation of Islam and Black Beret Cadre headquarters on Court Street, marked the 58th anniversary of his assassination.

Signatories included former members of the Nation of Islam and the Black Beret Cadre, a Black power group in Bermuda, as well as Social Justice Bermuda as a collective.

Born Malcolm Little in 1925, Malcolm X was considered an avid learner as a child, but bounced around foster homes after his father was killed and his mother admitted to a hospital.

He became involved in various crimes before he was imprisoned for ten years for larceny and burglary aged 21.

He joined the Nation of Islam while incarcerated and rejected his European last name in favour of ‘X’.

Malcolm X went on to become the Nation of Islam’s most influential speakers until he left the church and converted to Sunni Islam in 1964 after a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Malcolm X was assassinated the following year by several men associated with the Nation of Islam.

It is still debated whether the group was involved in the assassination, as well as whether the FBI, CIA or New York Police Department had a hand given their monitoring of Malcolm X and other civil rights leaders through the US Government’s counter-intelligence programme Cointelpro.

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Published February 22, 2023 at 4:11 pm (Updated February 22, 2023 at 4:11 pm)

Activists pledge to help people turn off the ‘gangster road’

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