Tens of thousands of declassified pages documenting government surveillance, infiltration and disruption of black leaders and organizations -- including Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam -- suggest the conclusions drawn by law enforcement were self-serving. Furthermore, irregularities in how investigators and prosecutors handled the case reflect at best gross negligence, and at worst something more sinister.
Photos: Civil rights activist Malcolm X. As a spokesman for the Nation of Islam in the 50s and 60s, civil rights activist Malcolm X grew in popularity. He was a highly sought-after speaker. Hide Caption. Malcolm X was never afraid to speak out against injustices he said black Americans were facing.
In this photo, taken outside a New York courthouse, he offers his support during a police brutality case. Fidel Castro and Malcolm X meet in Harlem in It was Malcolm X who bestowed the title "Honorable" to Muhammad. Malcolm X would frequently speak on street corners in Harlem and preach to crowds. Malcolm X with his daughters Qubilah, left, and Attilah in Malcolm X preaches in Harlem in August He rose quickly within the Nation of Islam.
Those who followed him said he was one of the most dynamic speakers they had ever heard. Malcolm X was also Muhammad Ali's mentor and spiritual guide. Malcolm X holds cash during a speech in Washington in Malcolm X talks to a woman inside a Halal restaurant patronized by black Muslims in Harlem.
He is seen here with Saudi Prince Faisal, who would later become king. He would be assassinated less than two months later. On February 21, , Malcolm X was shot before he was about to deliver a speech about his new organization called the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Reporters inspect the scene of the assassination, inside the Audobon Ballroom in New York. Malcolm X's widow, Betty Shabazz, stands by her husband's casket at his funeral.
At the time of his death, Time magazine remembered Malcolm X unsympathetically as "a pimp, a cocaine addict and a thief" and "an unashamed demagogue.
Instead of advocating integration, he called for self-determination; instead of nonviolence in the face of violent anti-black attacks, he called for self-defense. It was his challenge to the organized power of the state that appealed to growing numbers of African-Americans, and it was this challenge that also attracted a close following among federal, state and local law enforcement. Edgar Hoover's watch, the FBI kept close tabs on Malcolm's every move through the use of informants and agents. Even before Malcolm began attracting large audiences and widespread media coverage in the late s and early '60s, the FBI reported on his efforts to organize Nation of Islam mosques around the country.
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One organizing meeting in a private home in Boston in had maybe a dozen or so people present; one of them reported to the FBI. Ilyasah Shabazz on learning about her father's life After Malcolm left the Nation of Islam in March , agents pondered the prospect of a depoliticized more religious Malcolm, but still perceived him as a threat. Malcolm Little excelled in junior high school but dropped out after a white teacher told him that practicing law, his aspiration at the time, was "no realistic goal for a nigger".
From age 14 to 21, Little held a variety of jobs while living with his half-sister Ella Little-Collins in Roxbury , a largely African-American neighborhood of Boston. After a short time in Flint , Michigan, he moved to New York City's Harlem neighborhood in , where he engaged in drug dealing, gambling, racketeering , robbery, and pimping. Both men had reddish hair, so Sanford was called "Chicago Red" after his hometown and Little was known as "Detroit Red". Years later, Sanford became famous as Redd Foxx.
Organize them nigger soldiers In late , Little returned to Boston, where he and four accomplices committed a series of burglaries targeting wealthy white families. When Little was in prison, he met fellow convict John Bembry,  a self-educated man he would later describe as "the first man I had ever seen command total respect At this time, several of his siblings wrote to him about the Nation of Islam , a relatively new religious movement preaching black self-reliance and, ultimately, the return of the African diaspora to Africa, where they would be free from white American and European domination.
I'll show you how to get out of prison",  he quit smoking and began to refuse pork. Muhammad advised him to renounce his past, humbly bow in prayer to God , and promise never to engage in destructive behavior again. In , the FBI opened a file on Little after he wrote a letter from prison to President Truman expressing opposition to the Korean War and declaring himself a Communist. When the time was right, after they had proven their sincerity, he said, he would reveal the Muslim's "original name". Hundreds of African Americans were joining the Nation of Islam every month.
All four African-American men were arrested. Johnson's injuries were treated and by the time he was returned to the police station, some four thousand people had gathered outside. Johnson was not bailed, and police said he could not go back to the hospital until his arraignment the following day. Nation members silently left, after which the rest of the crowd also dispersed.
Soon the police department assigned undercover officers to infiltrate the Nation of Islam. These included the beliefs:. He and the Nation of Islam were described as hatemongers, black supremacists, racists, violence-seekers, segregationists, and a threat to improved race relations. He was accused of being antisemitic. He proposed that African Americans should return to Africa and that, in the interim, a separate country for black people in America should be created.
Muhammad ; the son told Malcolm X about his skepticism toward his father's "unorthodox approach" to Islam. In late , there were violent confrontations between Nation of Islam members and police in South Central Los Angeles, and numerous Muslims were arrested.
They were acquitted, but tensions had been raised. A large crowd of angry Muslims came outside from the mosque. The officers attempted to intimidate the crowd.
One officer was disarmed by the crowd; his partner was shot in the elbow by a third officer. More than 70 backup officers arrived. They raided the mosque and randomly beat Nation of Islam members. Police officers shot seven Muslims, including William X Rogers, who was hit in the back and paralyzed for life, and Ronald Stokes, a Korean War veteran, who was shot from behind while raising his hands over his head to surrender, killing him. A number of Muslims were indicted after the event, but no charges were made against the police.
Furthermore, the coroner ruled that Stokes's killing was justified. Muhammad confirmed the rumors in , attempting to justify his behavior by referring to precedents set by Biblical prophets. He added that "chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they've always made me glad. Kennedy, the Muslim leader cited the murders of Patrice Lumumba , Congo leader, of Medgar Evers , civil rights leader, and of the Negro girls bombed earlier this year in a Birmingham church.
These, he said, were instances of other 'chickens coming home to roost'. The Nation of Islam, which had sent a message of condolence to the Kennedy family and ordered its ministers not to comment on the assassination, publicly censured their former shining star. He was still a Muslim, he said, but felt that the Nation had "gone as far as it can" because of its rigid teachings. He said he was planning to organize a black nationalist organization to "heighten the political consciousness" of African Americans.
He also expressed a desire to work with other civil rights leaders, saying that Elijah Muhammad had prevented him from doing so in the past.
Malcolm X | Biography, Nation of Islam, Assassination, & Facts | biozamasi.tk
He soon converted to the Sunni faith. He was delayed in Jeddah when his U. Azzam's son arranged for his release and lent him his personal hotel suite. The motion was taken from a statement made earlier that year by U.
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The town had become a byword for racial division after Conservative supporters used the slogan, "If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour. After returning to the U. Get your hand outta my pocket! One gunman, Nation of Islam member Talmadge Hayer also known as Thomas Hagan , was beaten by the crowd before police arrived.
Butler, today known as Muhammad Abdul Aziz, was paroled in and became the head of the Nation's Harlem mosque in ; he maintains his innocence.
Released in , he maintained his innocence until his death in August It featured interviews with several people who worked with him, including A. There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. And we will answer and say to them: Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm?
Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing?