Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Dad Did You Know That Malcolm X Changed His Name Because His Old Name Was A Slave Name?"

ME:   "?????????????????????????????????"     (While pleasantly surprised that he brought up the subject - I know he didn't learn this in his "Integrated School")

On a recent family trip I heard some 'spoken words' coming from an electronic device that was packed up with my family in the car.   I instinctively checked to make sure that it was not one of my cellphones or my personal Android tablet.

Turns out it was my 10 son who was sitting in the back seat listening to various history lessons as told by the mobile application called "Brain Pop".

I overheard him learning about:

  • The American Revolution
  • Slavery 
  • Martin Luther King Jr
  • Malcolm X
  • World War II
  • and The 9/11 Attacks On The World Trade Center
About two weeks later my son came up to me and asked: "Dad Did You Know That Malcolm X Changed His Name Because His Old Name Was A Slave Name?"

I expounded upon the information slightly, telling him - "
The last name "Lyttle" was likely the name of the "slave owner" that "owned" Malcolm X's ancestors during slavery.  When they were freed, most Blacks kept the last names of their "slave masters" and took them as their own family names.
When Malcolm X joined the "Nation Of Islam" he dropped the last name "Lyttle" and assumed the name "X" as a sign that he has purged his mental connection to American slavery.
I then tried to picture in my mind where he would get this information about Malcolm X.  I wondered if his American history class was focusing on "The Civil Rights Movement".  He told me "No.", he had learned it from "Brain Pop".

Now when his mother yells out loud: "Bring me back my iPad!!!!!".   If I hear the spoken words rather than explosions from a video game I  tell her "Let the boy keep it.  He is learning something on it."

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