PIO Celebrates Malcolm X Day 2019 (May 19th) May 19, 2019 – Posted in: African Culture, Culture, Doing Good, In the Community – Tags: , , , , ,

hol•i•day (noun)

  • a day of festivity or recreation where no work is done.
  • a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person.
  • a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment, etc.

To me, holidays are about more than just having a day off from work or school, or a reason to be exempt from obligations. I feel like it’s a great opportunity to honor and celebrate those associated with the holiday. And in American culture there is always a main character associated with major holidays like Santa and Jesus with Christmas, the bunny rabbit with Easter, George Washington’s birthday (usually coinciding with President’s day), and MLK day honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

The American Federal government celebrates many people throughout the year, especially through federal holidays. I’m not sure why Martin Luther King Jr. is the only black person to have a federal holiday in his name but there are many others who deserve one. Someone in particular whose value and impact lingers the way MLK’s does is Malcolm X. There are so many interesting things we don’t know about the man and its important to PIO to celebrate and uplift someone who really utilized his power in one to create effective change and/or compel others to do so as well.

Malcolm X and Maya Angelou

PIO always chooses to celebrate his birthday like a holiday because we value his contributions to the culture and empowerment of blackness. It truly aligns with the PIO mission and it would be unthoughtful not to encourage others to join in. Malcolm X was many things and his spirit lives on to be even more. Little known facts that some don’t know about him include the fact that we was not a monolith of a fiery person, he was often quiet in a thoughtful way when he wasn’t speaking truth to power. He also was close friends with Maya Angelou and she was who he spent time with in Ghana when he visited Africa and found that spiritual balance he came back to the US with. Not to mention he was neighbors with Nina Simone and really surrounded himself with prolific people who weren’t afraid to let their voices be heard. He was a humane human and that’s something that makes it even easier to celebrate him because he is so relatable.

In speaking with one of our managing partners, Atuya, he states that Malcolm X’s legacy inspires the brand and is an example of what ‘Power In One’ truly is.  Collectively, it is important to the Power In One Team to champion the life and uplifting service of Malcolm X that lives today.  Atuya says, “I feel an amazing connection to Malcolm X; his words, confidence and genuine/dedicated love for his people has impacted my life greatly.  For those that continue to feel this impact; I trust we will continue to beat the drum and lift up our great Ancestor, Malcom X”.

In conclusion, I empower you to celebrate those who add value to your life, whether the government recognizes them or not. Live with intention like Malcolm X did, and stay empowered!