Historian Davis publishes work on Malcolm X

Historian Davis publishes  work on Malcolm X
July 09
00:00 2015

In above photo: Dr. Lenwood G. Davis

Special to The Chronicle

Dr. Lenwood G. Davis, award winning author and Chronicle Lifetime Achievement Award winner, penned a chapter on Malcolm X, in “Malcolm X’s Michigan Worldview: An Exemplar for Contemporary Black Studies,” edited by Rita Kiki Edozie and Curtis Stokes and Published by Michigan State University Press.
Much has been written about Malcolm X as an African-American nationalist, civil rights leader, spell binding orator, intellect, Pan-Africanist, world traveler, minister of the Nation of Islam, founder of a newspaper, Muslim Mosque and the Organization of Afro-American Unity.
Nothing has been written about him as an educator, scholar, or historian until now.
Davis in his groundbreaking chapter, “Re-educating the Afro-American: Malcom X’s Scholarly and Historical Pedagogy,” discuss Malcolm X as an educator, scholar and historian.
An educator is a person whose work is to teach, train, enlighten, and empower others.
According to the definition, Davis, a former educator, states that Malcolm X is well qualified to be an educator.
In most of his speeches and writings, Malcolm X taught African-Americans about Carter G. Woodson’s concept of miseducation – the need to rediscover African-Americans racial pride, respect for themselves and others.
He taught African-Americans also such things as to defend themselves against others, to protect their women, to know their history, to get an education, establish schools, and to become entrepreneurs, etc.
According to Davis, Malcolm X believed that the education, or re-education of Blacks is necessary for the building of a new mass movement capable of fighting effectively for human rights.
In Malcolm X’s own words, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people for it today.”
A scholar is a learned person or a specialist in a particular branch of learning.
Once again, Davis argues, Malcolm X would qualify as a scholar if one accepts the definition that a scholar is a learned person. Malcolm X developed his skills and profile as a scholar while in prison at the Norfolk Prison Colony.
A retired history professor from Winston-Salem State University states that if one accepts the definition that a historian is one that writes history, an author, and a specialist in history, will agree that Malcolm X could be called a historian. He was not a trained historian in the traditional sense of having gone to college and earned a degree in history.
He pointed out that as Malcolm X grew from teacher to scholar to historian, books and community became his reservoir for understanding the world.
Davis published the first full-length book bibliography on Malcolm X in 1984 and in 2011 he spoke at a symposium about Malcolm X at Michigan State University.
His topic was, “Malcolm X: Educator, Scholar and Historian.”
The chapter in the latest book on Malcolm X is an expansion of the earlier paper.
The historian is currently working on several projects including, “Four Early Grand Masters of Prince Hall Masons in North Carolina,” which is being written with Benjamin H. Piggott.

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