Malcolm X Memorial Foundation hosts four-day celebration marking the Omaha native’s May 19 birthday

By: - May 18, 2022 9:50 am

Malcolm X poses for a portrait on Feb. 16, 1965, in Rochester, New York. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The North Omaha-based Malcolm X Memorial Foundation is hosting a four-day birthday celebration starting May 19 to pay tribute to the legacy of the African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist, who was born in Omaha in 1925.

Malcom X birthday celebration 2022 schedule
(Courtesy of Malcolm X Memorial Foundation)

Events are centered at 3448 Evans St., the foundation site that marks the childhood home of the powerful and controversial orator. Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965.

Rowena Moore created the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation in 1971. A recent foundation newsletter said that, historically, area residents recognized Malcolm X’s May 19 birthday with parades, dinners and special lectures. It noted a few years of ignored efforts, especially in the 1990s and early 2000s.

This year, the group is hosting the series of events and is to display special images from the Omaha Star archives that document the Malcolm X legacy. Born Malcolm Little, he joined the Nation of Islam and dropped his surname for “X,” to symbolize the family name lost to slavery.

Kicking off the 2022 celebration is a luncheon with special guests Karen Wells, mother of Amir Locke; Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party; and Gus Newport, a close friend of Malcolm X. (The luncheon requires registration and a fee. A virtual option is also available at no cost.)

Free and open to the public are guided tours and the legacy photo exhibition.

Friday, starting at 6 p.m. young poets are to portray words from historical figures and orators including Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass.

Saturday features dance group performances beginning at 2 p.m.

Sunday features food trucks and the last day of the silent auction.

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics. She has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) and the Associated Press. Cindy has been recognized by various nonprofits for community contributions and diversity efforts. She chairs the board that oversees the local university’s student newspaper.