BY Nii Ntreh, 3:20pm April 28, 2021,

Five Black heroes who tragically died before the age of 40

MLK and Malcolm X at the senate debate on voting rights in . Photo Credit:

If you are one who believes that the best and most brilliant are fated to leave us the earliest on Earth, you may find that among Black activists, that belief is most true. Through the malice of their detractors, a lot of Black heroes all around the post World War II globe were take away from us too early.

This piece is a list of five of the most gallant men who fall in this category. The criteria employed here precluded the likes of Fred Hampton, who, although a hero to many, was not involved in the struggle to redeem Black humanity as long as these others.

This list took into consideration, the number of lives touched by said hero, which invariably translates into their popularity. We also took into consideration the wealth of their thoughts as well as how long they were in the trenches.

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights activism arguable started with the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama. Many historians also acknowledge that before that event of civil disobedience, King was already modestly famous for his pro-welfare and pro-Black humanity versions of Christianity. When he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, King was 39.

Malcolm X

Malcolm X positioned himself as the leader of the Black alternative demand for civil rights to MLK’s peaceful campaign. Malcolm did not believe the white establishment was interested in ceding to Black people. the material conditions, necessary to comfort and citizenship. He advocated purposive violence, something that undoubtedly offended mostly white sensibilities. Malcolm, just like Martin, also died at 39.

Patrice Lumumba

Lumumba’s killing has been described by many as the most treacherous of an African independence leader. For half a century, there is no definite story on who murdered Lumumba even though Pan-Africanists and political analysts usually agree on who the murder benefited – imperial Belgian and western interests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lumumba was 35.

Thomas Sankara

Thomas Sankara is hailed as a near-saint among Pan-Africans. This factor is perhaps due to the fact that although he was in power for only a few years, Sankara’s pro-poor and pro-communitarian values were giving off measurable promise in Burkina Faso. A fierce redistributor of wealth and a passionate defender of women’s rights, Sankara indeed was one of a kind. He was 37.

Walter Rodney

A Pan-Africanist and Marxian socialist, Walter Rodney‘s intellect and activism unsettled many who were opposed to him. His enemies were not simply white westerners but the Guyanese could also count fellow Caribbean nationals among those who moved to hinder his work. He was killed, aged 38, when a bomb in his car went off in Georgetown, Guyana.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: January 7, 2023


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