Malcolm X in Smethwick

New plaque marks the day Malcolm X visited Smethwick

By Steve Bradley                Feb 22 2012

 

Malcolm X visits Marshall Street, in Smethwick

A BLUE plaque has been unveiled in Smethwick recalling a momentous visit by US civil rights leader Malcolm X.

The charismatic activist died 47 years ago yesterday after he was gunned down in New York – nine days after he walked along controversy-blighted Marshall Street.

White householders had lobbied Smethwick Borough Council and their Tory MP Peter Griffiths to use their influence to try to stop non-whites buying houses in the road.

 

The Indian Workers Association invited Malcolm to the area on February 12, 1965 so he could witness problems of racism for himself.

Association assistant general secretary Harbhajan Dardi said: “Residents were told not to sell houses to black people.

“Malcolm made an impact on understanding and awareness in the community. People came to know the reality that we’re all human beings regardless of the colour of our skin.

“I’m not saying that racism has been totally wiped out here, but the relationship between races is 100 times better.”

The plaque was installed on a privately-owned house at the corner with Park Road, with the consent of the landlord. Jak Beula, chief executive of the Nubian Jak Community Trust, said Malcolm X was “awesome, wonderful and irrepressible”.

Professor Gus John, activist with the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination in the 60s, told a crowd gathered for the unveiling that the US activist had seen his parents’ home being firebombed by racists when he was just four.

Read More http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2012/02/22/new-plaque-marks-the-day-malcolm-x-visited-smethwick-97319-30383228/#ixzz1n8x3occJ

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Published in: on February 22, 2012 at 8:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

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