In front of a cramped classroom, Charles Lumpkins presented lecture attendees with ideas of what Malcolm X might say if he was alive.
Another installment of the monthly Calvin H. Waller Lecture Series, titled "Demystifying Malcolm X's Legacy: Direction for 21st Century Social Change," was held yesterday in 216 Willard and sponsored by the African and African American Studies Student Council. About 25 people attended the lecture, which focused on Malcolm X to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of his assassination.
Lumpkins, an assistant professor of African and African American Studies, had attendees each read a different idea. These included ideas such as -- "Malcolm X would say, 'stay away from Clinton and hold your nose as you vote for Obama and be ready to launch and sustain campaigns for rights of people of all colors in the United States, all around the world, regardless who becomes president.' "
That idea provided the most fodder for the lecture's discussion.
Grace Hampton, head of the department for African and African American Studies, asked what it meant to "hold your nose as you vote for Obama."
"I'd be yelling and cheering when I voted for Obama," she said, laughing.
Al-Hassan Sheriff (sophomore-public relations) said he thought the phrase meant that Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama isn't "foot to foot" with the people he is advocating.
"He's not struggling with them," Sheriff said, "where Malcolm X could. He had that neutral bond with them."
Omar Lewis (junior-media studies law and policy) said he isn't going to vote for Obama and he feels that concerning where America is now, if Obama is elected, he will be assassinated.
"I've got to still realize where I'm at," he said. "The system isn't going to let it fly."
After listening to audience members comments, Lumpkins told them Malcolm X would probably agree with all of them -- with his own twist, of course.
Lumpkins said Malcolm X believed human rights were more important than civil rights.
He added that even though people can vote for one of the two main political parties, the community organizations and grassroots efforts that citizens engage in will ultimately protect them.
"Malcolm X would say you've got to do your own thinking," he said. "Listen to what other people are saying, but keep your mind open."