This week on Black Perspectives, we mark the 52nd anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination with a week-long forum, “Remembering Malcolm,” on his life, and legacy, and the significance of his ideas for continuing struggles for racial justice and human rights. Certainly, Malcolm is important for his unwavering and incisive critiques of anti-black racism in its many forms: from northern liberalism to southern segregation to European colonialism. He spoke truth to power with a plainness which was unparalleled in his time. As Ossie Davis recalled: “He scared me. I’m sure he intended to.” But remembering and honoring Malcolm is also important because it offers a gateway into the world of black intellectual theory and praxis that he inhabited and enriched.
Perhaps no figure in the 20th-century brings together a more diverse and illustrious cohort of thinkers and activists. As Ashley Farmer has pointed out, just the list of women mentors and comrades alone brings forth figures such as “Queen Mother” Audley Moore, Ana Livia Cordero, Yuri Kochiyama, Gloria Richardson, Grace Lee Boggs, Mae Mallory, Maya Angelou, and Shirley Graham Du Bois. Following the death of Fidel Castro, I recounted Malcolm’s visit not only with the Cuban revolutionary in Harlem in the fall of 1960, but also Kwame Nkrumah and Gamal Abdel Nasser. At an OAAU rally just months before his death, he read a message of support from Che Guevara before introducing Abdul Rahman Muhammad Babu of Tanzania, Sheik Ahmed Hassoun of the Sudan, and comedian Dick Gregory. He wrote letters of encouragement to college students wanting to form campus chapters of the Nation of Islam and urged heads of state to denounce the United States before the United Nations. He testified on behalf of Muslim prisoners and sat ringside in Miami as Cassius Clay defeated Sonny Liston and emerged to the world as Muhammad Ali.
As Alex Haley struggled to finish writing The Autobiography of Malcolm X–while Malcolm made Hajj and wrote back of his broadening views while traveling through Africa–Haley excitedly began another manuscript entitled Before This Anger, which would eventually become Roots. Malcolm, therefore, is a window into the global black freedom struggle in its variegated and contoured forms. By remembering, studying, and disseminating knowledge about his life and ideas, we do justice to Black History.
Over the next few days, we will feature essays from a diverse group of scholars–Zaheer Ali (Brooklyn Historical Society), Garrett Felber (University of Michigan), Laura Warren Hill (Bloomfield College), Ibram X. Kendi (University of Florida), Alaina Morgan (New York University), Amy A. Ongiri (Lawrence University), and Russell Rickford (Cornell University)–offering insights on the lasting influence and significance of Malcolm’s ideas for current political movements in the United States and abroad. We are also excited to feature an interview with Erik S. McDuffie (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) on his new article on the life, activism, and legacy of Malcolm X’s mother, Louise Langdon Norton Little. For more context and readings on Malcolm X, we offer the following reading list.
Critical Conversations on Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
- “The Legacy of Malcolm X: Black Nationalism, Internationalism, and Transnationalism,” Special Issue, The Journal of African American History 100, 2 (Spring 2015).
- “Malcolm X’s Daughter Disputes Claims in New Bio On Father,” Tell Me More, NPR Radio, April 20, 2011.
- Rita Kiki Edozie and Curtis Stokes, eds., Malcolm X’s Michigan Worldview: An Exemplar for Contemporary Black Studies (East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2015).
- Manning Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (New York: Viking, 2011).
- Jared Ball and Todd Steven Burroughs, eds., A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 2012).
- Herb Boyd, ed., By Any Means Necessary: Malcolm X, Real, Not Reinvented (Chicago: Third World Press, 2012).
Malcolm X and Garveyism
- Erik McDuffie, “The Diasporic Journeys of Louise Little: Grassroots Garveyism, the Midwest, and Community Feminism,” Women, Gender, and Families of Color 4, 2 (Fall 2016), 146-170.
- Jan Carew, Ghosts in Our Blood: With Malcolm X in African, England, and the Caribbean (Westport, CT: Laurence Hill & Company, 1994).
- Ted Vincent, “The Garveyite Parents of Malcolm X,” The Black Scholar 20, 2 (March/April 1989), 10-13.
Women and the Nation of Islam
- Ula Taylor, Making a New Woman: Women and the Nation of Islam, 1930-1975 (in progress).
- Dawn-Marie Gibson and Jamillah Ashira Karim, Women of the Nation: Between Black Protest and Sunni Islam (New York: New York University Press, 2014).
- Bayyinah Sharief Jeffries, A Nation Can Rise No Higher Than its Women: African American Muslim Women in the Movement for Black Self Determination, 1950-1975 (Lantham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014).
- Ula Taylor, “Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam: Separatism, Regendering, and a Secular Approach to Black Power after Malcolm X (1965-1975),” in Freedom North: Black Freedom Struggles Outside the South, 1940-1980, eds., Komozi Woodard and Jeanne Theoharis, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 177-198.
- Cynthia S’thembile West, “Revisiting Female Activism in the 1960s: The Newark Branch Nation of Islam,” Black Scholar 26, 3-4 (Fall 1996/Winter 1997), 41-48.
Gender and Black Nationalism
- Farah Jasmine Griffin, “‘Ironies of the Saint:’ Malcolm X, Black Women, and the Price of Protection,” in Sisters in the Struggle: African American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement, eds., Bettye Collier-Thomas and V.P. Franklin (New York: New York University Press, 2001), 214-229.
- Barbara Bair, “True Women, Real Men: Gender, Ideology and Social Roles in the Garvey Movement,” in Gendered Domains: Rethinking Public and Private in Women’s History, eds., Dorothy Helly and Susan Reverby (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992), 154-166.
- Richard Brent Turner, “Constructing Masculinity: Interactions Between Islam and African-American Youth Since C. Eric Lincoln, The Black Muslims in America,” Souls, 8, 4 (2006), 31-44.
- Michelle Ann Stephens, Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914-1962 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005).
- Wilson Jeremiah Moses, The Golden Age of Black Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976).
- Melanye Price, Dreaming Blackness: Black Nationalism and African American Public Opinion (New York: New York University Press, 2009).
- Michele Mitchell, Righteous Propagation: African Americans and the Politics of Racial Destiny After Reconstruction (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).
- Michael Dawson, Black Visions: The Roots of Contemporary African-American Political Ideologies (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).
The Nation of Islam
- E.U. Essien-Udom, Black Nationalism: A Search for An Identity in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).
- C. Eric Lincoln, The Black Muslims in America (Boston: Beacon Press, 1961).
- Louis E. Lomax, When the Word is Given… (Cleveland: World Publishing, 1963).
- Martha Lee, A Nation of Islam: An American Millenarian Movement (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1988).
- Mattias Gardell, In The Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996).
- Jeffrey Ogbar, Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).
- Clifton Marsh, From Black Muslims to Muslims: The Resurrection, Transformation, and Change of the Lost Found Nation of Islam in America, 1930-1995, 2nd Edition (London: Scarecrow Press, 1996).
Malcolm X and Islam
- Richard Brent Turner, Islam in the African-American Experience (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997).
- Edward E. Curtis IV,“Islamism and Its African American Muslims Critics: Black Muslims in the Era of the Arab Cold War,” American Quarterly 59, 3 (Fall 2007), 683-709.
- Edward E. Curtis IV, Black Muslim Religion in the Nation of Islam, 1960-1975 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006).
- Edward E. Curtis IV, Islam in Black America: Identity, Liberation, and Difference in African- American Islamic Thought (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2002).
- Edward E. Curtis IV, editor, Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History, volume 1 (New York: Facts on File, 2010).
The Nation of Islam and Prison Activism
- Dan Berger, Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014).
- Zoe Colley, “‘All America is a Prison’: The Nation of Islam and the Politicization of African American Prisoners, 1955-1965,” Journal of American Studies 48, 2 (May 2014), 393-415.
- Malachi Crawford, Black Muslims and the Law: Civil Liberties from Elijah Muhammad to Muhammad Ali (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015).
- Toussaint Losier, “…For Strictly Religious Reason[s]: Cooper v. Pate and the Origins of the Prisoners’ Rights Movement,” Souls 15, 1-2 (2013), 19-38.
- Bruce Perry, Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America (Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 1991).
- Karl Evanzz, The Messenger: The Rise and Fall of Elijah Muhammad (New York: Pantheon Books, 1999).
- Louis A. DeCaro, Jr., On The Side of My People: A Religious Life of Malcolm X (New York: New York University Press, 1996).
- Louis A. DeCaro, Jr., Malcolm and the Cross: The Nation of Islam, Malcolm X, and Christianity (New York: New York University Press, 1998).
- Claude Andrew Clegg III, An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997).
- Benjamin Karim (with Peter Skutches and David Gallen), Remembering Malcolm: The Story of Malcolm X from Inside the Muslim Mosque (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1992).
- Malu Halasa, Elijah Muhammad: Religious Leader (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1990).
- Russell J. Rickford, Betty Shabazz: A Life Before and After Malcolm X (Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2003).
- Kofi Natambu, Malcolm X (Indianapolis: Alpha Books, 2002).
- Rodnell P. Collins, with A. Peter Bailey, Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X (New York: Kensington Publishing Corporation, 1998).
- Malcolm L. Jarvis, Myself and I: Malcolm L. Jarvis (No location: Printed by Rice Offset Printing, Inc., First Edition, December 1979).
- Malcolm X and Alex Haley, Autobiography of Malcolm X (New York: Grove Press, 1965).
- Rosemari Mealy, Fidel and Malcolm X: Memories of a Meeting (New York: Ocean Press, 1993).
- Ilyasah Shabazz (with Kim McLarin), Growing Up X: A Memoir by the Daughter of Malcolm X (New York: Ballantine Books, 2002).
Malcolm X Speaks
- George Breitman, ed., The Last Year of Malcolm X: The Evolution of a Revolutionary (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1967).
- George Breitman, ed., Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements (New York: Grove Weidenfield, 1990).
- Bruce Perry, ed., The Last Speeches (New York, Pathfinder, 1989).
- Archie Epps, ed., Malcolm X: Speeches at Harvard (New York: Paragon Press, 1991
Malcolm X, the NOI, and Grassroots Organizing
- Laura Warren Hill, “‘We Are Black Folks First’: The Black Freedom Struggle in Rochester NY and the Making of Malcolm X,” The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture 3, 2 (December 2010), 163-185.
- Frederick Knight, “Justifiable Homicide, Police Brutality, or Governmental Repression? The 1962 Los Angeles Police Shooting of Seven Members of the Nation of Islam,” The Journal of Negro History 79, 2 (Spring 1994), 182-196.
- William Sales, From Civil Rights to Black Liberation: Malcolm X and the Organization of Afro-American Unity (Boston: South End Press, 1994).
- Garrett Felber, “‘Harlem is the Black World’: The Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Grassroots,” The Journal of African American History 100, 2 (Spring 2015), 199-215.
- Ibram Rogers (now Ibram X. Kendi), “The Marginalization of the Black Campus Movement,” Journal of Social History, 42, 1 (Fall 2008), 175-182.
The Assassination of Malcolm X
- Peter Goldman, The Death and Life of Malcolm X (Urbana: University of Illinois, 1979).
- Karl Evanzz, The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1992).
- Michael Friedly, Malcolm X: The Assassination (New York: One World Press, 1992).
- Zak Kondo, Conspiracys: Unravelling the Assassination of Malcolm X (Washington, D.C.: Nubia Press).
- Robert L. Jenkins, ed., The Malcolm X Encyclopedia (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002).
- William T. Strickland and Cheryll Y. Greene, eds., Malcolm X: Make It Plain. (New York: Viking, 1994).
- Clayborne Carson, ed., Malcolm X: The FBI File (New York: Carroll and Graf, 1991). Also see online version at The Vault.
- Manning Marable and Garrett Felber, The Portable Malcolm X Reader (New York: Penguin, 2013).
- Robert E. Terrill, The Cambridge Companion to Malcolm X (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
- Herb Boyd and Ilyasah Al-Shabazz, The Diary of Malcolm X (Chicago: Third World Press, 2013).
- Joe Wood, ed., Malcolm X: In Our Own Image (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992).