LANSING, Mich. — After the Malcolm X historical marker on Lansing's south side was destroyed early this year. state Rep. Sarah Anthony was determined to get it fixed, by any means necessary.
On Malcolm's birthday, May 19, Anthony announced that private funds had been secured to repair the marker.
"Oftentimes we just have to step up to the plate and make it work. That is just the legacy of how, how, Malcolm probably would have done it," said Anthony.
Malcolm grew up in Lansing, and though he complained in his autobiography about the city's "complacent and misguided so-called 'middle class' negroes," recent scholarship shows that Lansing played an important role in his life.
"Malcolm returning to his parent's roots of Pan-Africanism in the 1960s, and tapping into the Zeitgeist of African independence, decolonization, these sorts of things. Malcolm was really tying back into his time in Lansing," said John Aerni-Flessner, a professor in Michigan State University's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.
When Malcolm X emerged as a global statesman, he said, it was his time in Lansing with his parents and the community that shaped the person he became.
"The historical markers really important," Aerni-Flessner said. "It's one of the only tangible things that .is left here in Lansing from Malcolm's time. All of the houses where he lived are gone. Many of the schools have been repurposed"
And community members are still inspired by Malcolm and his Lansing roots.
"Malcolm X grew up here. So Michigan, actually has a lot of respect for Malcolm X, because it shows that people from Michigan can become something so great and create history," said James Henson, founder of the Young Black Panther Party in Lansing.
By rebuilding the marker, Anthony hopes Malcolm's legacy will continue to inspire.
"His legacy, one that was pro-black, pro-human is one that we can see so much of ourselves in," she said. "When you see people going to the Capitol and marching for justice, we see Malcolm there. When we see individuals crying out for more education systems, we see Malcolm there."
Anthony said it will take a few months for the marker to be repaired.
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