Thirty-six years ago today, Malcolm X was assassinated. Columbia University and the daughters of Malcolm X are marking the anniversary with the announcement of a project to archive the slain leader’s personal papers and to create an electronic version of his autobiography. We’ll air a speech Malcolm X gave in Michigan, the day after his house was firebombed. It would be only one week after this speech that Malcolm X would be gunned down as he addressed a crowd in Harlem.
The project, to be completed over the next decade, will also include interviews with 200 of Malcolm X’s relatives and contemporaries, a new biography and a collection of his speeches, essays and letters.
Accolades and recognition, like that given today by Colombia, would have been unthinkable 36 years ago. Then, Malcolm X was a revolutionary leader at the height of his powers. He was an inspiration to those in the United States and around the globe who were demanding radical change. And he attracted enemies.
The speech we are about to hear was given the day after his house was firebombed. A week later, Malcolm X would be gunned down as he addressed a crowd in Harlem. In the brief moment between these acts of violence, Malcolm X spoke out in Michigan.
- Malcolm X, speaking in Michigan.