Today is the birthday of the great Malcolm X- an iconic figure that started us on our long-and what seems like never ending- journey to equality. Fifty-one years ago, 6 days after his assassination, we said farewell to one of our brightest right here in Harlem at the Childs Memorial Temple Church of God in Christ.
Located on 147th and Amsterdam, this historic church holds a special place in black history….in America’s history… in our history. Learn about the only church brave enough to host Malcolm X’s funeral.
Malcolm X’s Funeral in Harlem
After Malcolm X’s assassination on Feb. 21st, there were a lot of bomb threats to Muslim Temples that just entertained the idea of hosting his funeral. In those days, threats were real- unlike the Twitter fingers and subliminal statuses of our generation. So it wasn’t just threats that had people shook, but a mosque actually got blown up. A day after Malcolm’s assassination Harlem Mosque .7 on 116th street was firebombed. Amid these bomb threats and fear implanted in the community, Faith Temple was the only church that agreed to host his funeral. Six days after Malcolm X’s assassination, Faith temple opened its doors to thousands of family, friends, neighbors and Malcolm X followers to bid our civil rights activist a peaceful journey. Less than a mile away from the site of his murder, Harlem sent Malcolm X home.
The Future of Faith Temple
Today Childs Memorial Temple Church of God in Christ has its fronts gates down and it’s relocation sign up. The church still stands, waiting for the developers, that purchased it for 2.5 million dollars, to come and build some fancy building in the name of gentrification. Wiping away history. While community activists weren’t able to get this church registered as a landmark, I hope that its history- much like Malcolm X’s influence- will live on forever- even if it’s just on this web page.
Happy Birthday Malcolm X!
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