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Those trying to preserve history of metro Detroit & Malcolm X respond to exonerations

Posted at 8:19 AM, Nov 19, 2021

INKSTER, Mich. (WXYZ) — Many who have worked to preserve the legacy of Malcolm X in our community say in honor of him the exonerations of the men convicted of killing him cannot mean closure. They want justice.

7 Action News met with two men who are working to keep the memory of Malcolm X alive at the home on Williams in Inkster, where he lived with his brother.

“Malcolm lived here. This is part of our history. The city of Inkster’s history,” said Lynn. 

Dawon Lynn is one of the Co-Founders of the Project We Hope, Dream and Believe with Aaron Sims. They plan to renovate the home of Malcolm X, which at a time was facing demolition, and turn it into a museum.

“I am proud. I would like to have an honorary name change of the street,” said Sims.

“It was in Inkster that Malcolm made the transition from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X. He made the name change. He made the life change, from a life of crime to a life of service,” said Robert Turley.

Robert Turley gives tours on the history of Malcolm X in Metro Detroit, showing people where he lived, the nearby street corners where he preached, and the Mosques where he worshiped and served.

“The first place that Malcolm X preached at was Mosque Number 1, which is off of Linwood and Burlingame which is now known as Masjid Wali Muhammad’s, similarly this is one of the first places that I preached at when I moved to the City of Detroit. And I was one of the Imams at that mosque for a number of years, said Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations Michigan Chapter.

He and others working to remember him say Malcolm X’s path gives them hope. He went from calling for segregation to fighting for unity and justice.

“He said that if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. And I think that we as Americans have to be about principles,” said Walid.

They say these exonerations are a call for justice and government accountability.

“It goes to say, maybe our justice system is broke, but how do we fix it?” asked Sims.

“The FBI talks about wanting to have better relationships with the Muslim community. Well, maybe a start is if the FBI stops covering up this information about our human rights hero, our American civil rights leader Malcolm X, then declassify the information and come clean. Let the FBI come clean,” said Walid.