... Blake met with Malcolm X in the early 1960s. He refers to the famed African American leader as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm
X's Islamic name and the "name he took to his grave," Blake explained.
(Photo: Roy Schatt)
"El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz had a profound impact on me. He tried his best in a number of long, long conversations to convince me to join the Nation of Islam and I tried my best to help him understand why I would not join," Blake said.
"He was one of the most liberally educated people I have ever met. He always believed the evidence dictates the conclusion. He was willing to analyze and reflect on his views in light of new ideas and evidence, and he came to realize that many of the ideas he espoused were incorrect.
"I wish college students would be as critical and would examine their own views with the same critical perspective El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz did and not adopt any ideology or point of view simply because it comes from the mouth of someone with a degree of power," Blake said.