Assassination of Malcolm X by George BreitmanI approached and began this book, I now realize, with a certain subtle, preconceived reluctance, partially because I had pre-judged one of the main authors of it, George Breitman. My prejudice came from knowing that Breitman is a Socialist, and that he was one of the main editors putting out Malcolm speeches and books shortly after Malcolms death. My inclination was that he would not be fair in rendering this book, because I thought that he would get caught up in Socialist dogma with its “scientific materialism” that sometimes accompanies some of the Socialists that I have read in the past. Ive seen some Socialists who come at the race problem from an economic angle, trumping any type of racial analysis, or at best, saying that race is a secondary phenomenon, a position that I do not agree with. Anyways, I bought my own skeptical beliefs to this book from the get-go.
However, it did not take me long to get over my prejudices, mainly because the authors of this book approach the assassination of Malcolm in a strictly logical and factual way, which is the best that I could hope for from any work. I found myself pleasantly surprised at the way in which strictly logical questions were asked about things that should have been.
In looking at things the way that the authors do, they focused on the actions—or lack thereof---of the police, and the professionalism of the press—or lack thereof. Both entities come up lacking.
For some time prior to his assassination, the police had maintained some reasonable presence at Malcolms speeches and rallies, but the day that Malcolm was killed, it was difficult to find the police anywhere. The police arrived late and were said to have rescued two participants of the assassination from the crowd, on-the-spot, in the midst of the crowd beating the two men severely. This was reported by more than one major news source shortly after the event. But, the next day the second participant disappeared from all accounts forever, with no explanation whatsoever from the press as to why, with no corrections ever presented in any of its later editions. This raises a major question. These are the types of logical issues that the authors raise, asking fair and legitimate questions, such as why there seemed to be such little interest from both the police and the mainstream press to follow-up and look deeply into Malcolms murder. Malcolm was a huge figure of The Civil Rights era, and his stature deserves some respect as to how questions should have been asked about his killing. I dont think I am being unfair in saying that there was a general indifference that seemed to occupy the space that should have been occupied by professional, diligent, respectful, truth-seeking police work and professional journalistic reporting.
As a person deeply respectful of Malcolm, the police and the press are not the only two entities that I am upset with over what happened. I am also upset with Reverend Albert Cleage and the writer Louis Lomax, both of whom claimed to have been “friends” of Malcolms during his lifetime. Its clear that Reverend Cleage freeze-frames and boxes in Malcolm, freezing him at his philosophical growth just prior to his departure from the Nation Of Islam. The authors show Reverend Cleage disputing changes from Malcolm that occurred after Malcolms departure from The Nation. The problem for Reverend Cleage is that the authors use Malcolms actual words to show the gulf, meaning that there is no contest when Malcolm is quite capable of telling a person his own position. Reverend Cleage really comes off as looking stupid in arguing with Malcolms words as to what MALCOLM thinks. The same happens with Lomax, and Lomax just comes off supporting some really weird positions that are counter to anything that Malcolm said. What is really happening is that both men, Cleage and Lomax, are really attempting to use the authority and aura of Malcolm X as a battering ram to support their own subjective outlooks, when in fact those things do not jive with the words and being of Malcolm. One just has to read the book to see what I mean.
All-in-all, this is an exceptional work and I would tell any serious student of Malcolm to first start off by reading “Conspiracys: Unravelling The Assassination of Malcolm X” by Baba Zak A. Kondo, then read Karl Evanzzs “The Judas Factor: The Plot To Kill Malcolm X” and then read this current book. The 3 of these books together gives one a comprehensive view of what happened during the assassination and what went on behind it. One cannot go wrong in doing this. I rate this book as a solid and well-thought-out and scholarly work. A great job, this.
Complicated legacy of Malcolm X, 50 years after assassination
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Threats from the Ku Klux Klan forced the family to move to Lansing, Michigan , where his father continued to preach his controversial sermons despite continuing threats. In , Malcolm was taken from his family by welfare caseworkers. By the time he reached high school age, he had dropped out of school and moved to Boston, where he became increasingly involved in criminal activities. In , at the age of 21, Malcolm was sent to prison on a burglary conviction. It was there he encountered the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam , whose members are popularly known as Black Muslims. After six years, Malcolm was released from prison and became a loyal and effective minister of the Nation of Islam in Harlem, New York.
After his assassination, the widespread distribution of his life story— The Autobiography of Malcolm X —made him an ideological hero, especially among black youth. Malcolm X was one of the most significant figures within the American black nationalist movement. He first rose to prominence in the late s, as a member of the Nation of Islam , a religious organization that mixes elements of traditional Islam and black nationalism. He continued his activism even after leaving the Nation. His iconic status, if not solidified during his lifetime, was certainly achieved shortly after his death with the publication of the acclaimed The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Malcolm X was born in as Malcolm Little. His father was killed while Malcolm was still very young, possibly by white supremacists.
Malcolm X May 19, — February 21, was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was a popular figure during the civil rights movement. He is best known for his controversial advocacy for the rights of blacks; some consider him a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans, while others accused him of preaching racism and violence. Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska , he relocated to New York City's Harlem neighborhood in , after spending his teenage years in a series of foster homes following his father's death and his mother's hospitalization. In New York, Little engaged in several illicit activities, and was eventually sentenced to ten years in prison in for larceny and breaking and entering. After being paroled in , he quickly became one of the organization's most influential leaders.
On February 21, , Malcolm X was shot to death by Nation of Islam members while speaking at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City.
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Malcolm Knew He Was a 'Marked Man'
February 21, , marked the death and assassination of one of the s most divisive figures: el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, more famously known as Malcolm X., It was November and he was by then a leading member of the Nation of Islam, a black separatist organisation.
The assailants, at least three in number, were members of the black Muslim group the Nation of Islam, the group with which Malcolm X had been a prominent minister for ten years before he split with them in March Exactly who shot Malcolm X has been hotly debated over the decades. One man, Talmage Hayer, was arrested at the scene and was definitely a shooter. Two other men were arrested and sentenced but were most likely wrongly accused. The confusion over the identity of the shooters compounds the question of why Malcolm X was assassinated and has led to a wide range of conspiracy theories.