When we send our children to school in this country, they learn nothing about us other than that we used to be cotton pickers. Every little child going to school thinks his grandfather was a cotton picker.
Why, your grandfather… was one of the greatest Black people who walked on this earth. It was your grandfather’s hands who forged civilization and it was your grandmother’s hands that rocked the cradle of civilization…Our history and our culture were completely destroyed when we were forcibly brought to America in chains.
And now it is important for us to know that our history did not begin with slavery. We came from Africa, a great continent, wherein lives a proud and varied people, a land which is the cradle of civilization. Our culture and our history are as old as man himself and yet we know almost nothing about it.
—Malcolm X, 1964