I know that this is an old situation, however I feel compelled to talk about it. So, I’m going to do just that.
When I first saw the Nicki Minaj artwork, I knew it would start a shit storm. Hell, why would it not? She (or as she says, someone else) blatantly used a picture of Malcolm X in association with music that had nothing to do with him or his image. In fact, it did more to bastardize the image to the general populace that had little understanding of WHY Malcolm’s image should have never been used in the first place. In short, the artwork caused issues because it was simply disrespectful.
It disrespected his legacy, his ambition, and his militant image of diplomacy and equality.
But, I didn’t want to get into it. I knew his family would address the issue.
The family has spoken. According to The New York Daily News, Ilyasah Shabazz was quite insulted by Nicki’s use of the iconic 1964 image of Malcolm X standing at a window holding an M1 Carbine for Ebony magazine as her cover art for her new single “Lookin A– N—-” . More than anybody, the Shabazz family wants no part in this foolishness. Then again, people like Chris Moore (a historian at the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture in Harlem) didn’t agree with Nicki Minaj either, calling her “wrong-headed” for the foolish move that she made . Easily, all those that know Malcolm best know that associating him with anything “nigga” is not the proper business move to make.
Yet, this is not the biggest issue that I noticed. One of the biggest issues to be noticed was given later on in the referenced article.
According to The New York Daily News, Harlem community organizer Iesha Sekou, who operates student workshops through Street Corner Resources out of Harlem Renaissance High School, was also appalled by the use of the image. She said some students at the school didn’t think the imagery and racial slur were offensive. 
This should bother anybody within earshot and ample understanding of historical significance and importance of who Malcolm X is. Yet, seeing that students would not be bothered by this says too much. It clearly notes that too many (not all, but too many) of our students do not understand why Malcolm X was being disrespect in the first place.
Then again, people put Martin Luther King, Jr. on fliers to promote their parties clad with money, jewelry, and other foolishness that adorns everything associated with being “hood”.
And yet, there are people that would rather have Black History Month be tossed out in the trash with our dignity, respect, and the understanding of our historical impact. And that, my good readers, is a bad idea.
Don’t believe me? Hold my beer and watch me break this down:
If you would have taken all of the inventions that are associated with Black people, all of our lives would probably be unbearable and boring.
Frederick M. Jones invented the air conditioning unit. Henry T. Sampson invented the cellular phone. Lawrence P. Ray invented the dust pan. Lewis Latimer invented the electric lamp bulb. L.A. Burr invented the lawn mower.
These are just inventions. The list is even longer than what I mentioned. And that has nothing compared to the other entertainers, politicians, leaders, freedom fighters, and intellects that have lead our people to see more, want more, and do more.
Situations like the one Nicki Minaj has brought us only highlights the importance of making sure our children know and understand how great we are. But we can’t do this by taking away all opportunities to improve this predicament.
One day, kids will realize that some of our people should forever be revered.
‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!
[Originally posted at Chocolate Covered Lies]