What or Who Killed Malcolm X?
The coronavirus did not kill Malcolm X. Members of the Nation of Islam (NOI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) are suspects in his assassination. In February, Netflix released the documentary, Who Killed Malcolm X? - that examines the case of the late civil rights leader, husband, and father.
Malcolm X, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, embodied courage and intellectualism. Through his numerous speeches around the world and his organization, he advocated for the rights of Black people born in the United States.
He encouraged self-love during an era when covert racism promoted self-hatred.
For the last couple of weeks, I have made time to watch each episode of the Netflix documentary that re-examines the case of Malcolm X. My interests in the docuseries derives from my undergrad major in African-American Studies. In a course, I wrote a research paper about Malcolm’s history as a criminal, NOI minister, husband, father, brother, and civil rights leader.
Through the lens of a compassionate historian responsible for the documentary, Abdur Rahman Muhammad, shares evidence he has collected for thirty years on the assassination of Malcolm X. With interviews collected by former NOI members, FBI experts, retired NYPD officers, and historical footage, he presents a compelling theory on the parties involved in the killing of Malcolm.
Responding to the substantial evidence presented in the documentary, The Guardian reports that conversation is being held in NY to reopen the case.
Five men fired shots at Malcolm in the Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965. One was brought to justice, Talmadge Hayer, Mujahid Abdul Halim. With circumstantial evidence, two other men, Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khali Islam, were also convicted of killing Malcolm. In a video captured confession, Halim admitted that Aziz and Islam were innocent.
Halim also released the names of his four accomplices before he died in prison. The justice department ignored Halim's leads. Somehow, the other four men who collaborated to kill Malcolm were protected.
Malcolm X advocated for human rights with a focus on the interests of Black America. His premature death prevented him from seeing strides toward equity and equality in the United States. Albeit, there is much more progress required to eliminate US discrimination based on race, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, it is important to acknowledge Malcolm X’s contribution to the ongoing fight for a more equitable society.
Last week, my middle son had a social studies project due for class. The assignment required that students paste pictures representing their ethnic identities in a notebook, along with a sentence describing their significances. My parents are Black citizens born in the United States. On my wife’s side, her mom is a Sicilian, Italian woman born in the States, and her father is a Black man from Baltimore. My middle son's project included images of the Pan-African flag, the Italian flag, and a picture of Malcolm X.
His one sentence for the description of Malcolm X read, “this person helped Black people in the African heritage”(see image header).
Although Malcolm's life was cut short, his legacy continues in leaders of the African diaspora. Through my mentorship programs, writing projects, course offerings, and speaking engagements, I am working to build the courage and intellectual skills Malcolm symbolized to challenge injustices.
Whether or not you find yourself in quarantine to protect your community from the coronavirus, you should watch Netflix’s documentary about Malcolm's assassination. If your child's school is closed in response to health concerns, watch it together. Learning is not limited to when the school is open.
To learn more about my work inspired by Malcolm X and other leaders who dedicated their lives to improving this world, buy one of my books.