The Assassination of Malcolm X

3 38
Avatar for rapsantos
3 years ago

56 years ago, on February 21 - an African-American nationalist and religious leader was assassinated by rival Black Muslims as he prepares to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights, New York City. As for the men responsible for El-Shabazz's death, there was new evidence claiming it was a conspiracy to take down America's greatest & influential activist of his time.

Malcolm Little (his real name) born on May 19, 1925, the 4th of seven children of James Earl Little, and Louise Helen Little. Before he was gunned down, Malcolm had a rough childhood. His father was a preacher who supported activist Marcus Garvey , and local leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association while her mother was the secretary and branch reporter, as they spread the news of their activities. Until they received death threats from the Ku Klux Klan as they move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1926, and shortly to Lansing, Michigan. James died when he was hit by a streetcar, while his mother insists that he was murdered by the Black Legion - an extremist white supremacist group. Louise was sent to Kalamazoo State Hospital in 1938 when she had a nervous breakdown. As for their children, including Malcolm, they were separated and sent to foster homes.

Mug shot of Malcolm Little in 1944

Malcolm left Mason High School in 1941 when a white teacher told him that he should become a carpenter instead of a lawyer. Enraged, and discouraged by his racist teacher, he became a rebellious teenager as he was engaged in different types of criminal activities. In 1946, he was arrested and sentenced from 8 to 10 years for larceny. This is when the time he converted his views and eventually led him to join the Nation of Islam, then devoted himself to quit smoking, gambling, and refuse to eat pork to follow the dietary restrictions of Islam. He spent hours of reading books, even memorizing a dictionary in the prison library even if he dropped out of school but continued to educate himself through books. With the nation's tradition, he replaced his surname from Little to X. A custom among the nation's followers who considered their family names to replace with white slaveholders.

After his release in August 1952, he met Elijah Muhammad and began creating temples for the Nation from New York, Philadelphia, to Boston and other cities in the South. Malcolm rose to the ranks which he became a loyal and effective minister of the movement in Harlem, New York. He advocates self-defense and the liberation of African-Americans by any means necessary. But he left the movement and starts his pilgrimage to Mecca, where his views were more widened by the lack of racial discord among orthodox Muslims. After completing his pilgrimage, he returned as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz after embracing Sunni Islam as he left the Nation of Islam in March 1964, and founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity.

What Happened?

Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights, New York - 1965

Malcolm was preparing his lecture in Audubon Ballroom when someone shouted at the crowd when someone was about to be pickpocketed, a man rushed forward and shot him once on the chest with a sawed-off shotgun, and 2 others charged the stage firing their pistols. El-Shabazz was declared dead on arrival at 3:30 pm (US Eastern Time) after arriving at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. 21 gunshot wounds to the chest, left shoulder, arms, and legs, including ten buckshot wounds from the initial shotgun blast.

The Aftermath?

As the nation lost a defender of African-Americans, Malcolm was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Talmadge Hayer was beaten by the crowd before police arrived. Another gunman was identified by witnesses namely Norman 3X Butler, and Thomas 15 Johnson. All gunmen who were members of the Nation of Islam were convicted of murder in March 1966 and sentenced to life imprisonment. El-Shabazz was survived with his wife, Betty Sanders-Shabazz and 6 daughters: Attalah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah Lumuba, Malikah, and Malaak.

Hayer confessed, but he refused to identify the other assailants. Elijah Muhammad denies any involvement with the murder. Fast forward to present-day, after serving life imprisonment, one of them died, while the other two have been paroled as new evidence told that it was a conspiracy to assassinate Malcolm X by the New York Police Dept. and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Before his death, he was closely monitored by the agency during his tenure at the Nation of Islam which has supposed links to communism. An undercover officer named Raymond Wood - in his letter which is now under the custody of his family and their attorney confessing both agencies conspired to kill the activist. His responsibility was to ensure Malcolm's bodyguards were arrested days before the assassination. Malcolm's daughters, along with Wood's family and Atty. Ben Crump are asking to re-open the investigation in light of the new evidence.

Malcolm X's daughters during their press hearing of their father's death anniversary.

NYPD had provided all of their records with the case as they will fully cooperate with the re-investigation, while the FBI hasn't made any comments on the issue. Malcolm X was one of the greatest and most influential African-Americans in history. From activism to popular culture ranging from music, arts, even a film based on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. An inspiration for several fictional characters in the Marvel Universe - Magneto from X-Men, and Erik "N'Jadaka" Killmonger in Black Panther.

Sources:

Lead Image from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/malcolm-x-assassinated

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Malcolm-X

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56147505

https://abc7ny.com/malcolm-x-murder-assassination-civil-rights/10357490/

1
$ 0.00
Avatar for rapsantos
3 years ago

Comments

"Before his death, he was closely monitored by the agency during his tenure at the Nation of Islam which has supposed links to communism."

This kind of thing has happened throughout history. Soviets were excessively paranoid of counter-revolutionary activity and capitalist invasion. Over here in America, the Red Scare had people jumping out of their skin. Americans rounded up people and put them in camps based on their nationality, comparing different religions to communism.

Meanwhile, over in Germany, a man you have likely heard of was connecting communism to Christianity and Judaism!

"Hitler decries the Jews such as Paul who took over Christianity and corrupted Jesus’s original message. Paul preached to the Greek and Roman gentile world, bringing with him his own ideas about Christianity “with which the Roman Empire became unhinged. ‘All men are equal! Brotherhood! Pacifism! No more privileges!’ And the Jew triumphed.” From the outset, then, in Nazi thinking, Christianity was corrupted by Jewish influence and Jewish ideas."

https://brill.com/view/journals/jjs/5/1/article-p33_33.xml?language=en

$ 0.00
3 years ago

You mean, they replicated what the Germans did in World War II?

$ 0.00
3 years ago

Yep. America did things just as bad as the Nazis AND as the USSR all throughout the 1900s for very similar reasons too!

$ 0.00
3 years ago