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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. Search form Search. Back to the King Encyclopedia. Malcolm X. May 19, to February 21, Share this article on Facebook Share this article on Twitter. Footnotes Maude L. Goldman, Death and Life of Malcolm X , George Breitman, Historical Material Maude L. Ballou to Malcolm X.
For Malcom to use that word, it was a very specific invocation—that this was a chapter about the dead. Which places the writing of this to , while he is still in the NOI—before he broke with them in and the relationship devolved into a toxic, violent one that ended in his assassination. It had several parts, but at its core it was an intense rebuke of black America.
Sick economically. He talks about how, unlike different immigrant groups that had risen above their circumstances by looking to themselves and their own communities, black Americans were still wallowing in oppression.
In many ways, this is an intense self-critique. Like with immigrants who came to the U. Malcolm ignores the history of black American success and triumph, their migration north, their independent black towns and their businesses and their benevolent societies. Yes, many of these efforts were stymied and undercut by violence and systemic racism.
The Explosive Chapter Left Out of Malcolm X’s Autobiography - HISTORY
But this argument Malcolm is making is really harsh. He closes out with a call for electoral politics. He actually talks about voting, he talks about the United Nations, where you can vote yes or no—or you can abstain. He talks about organizing voting blocs and the idea of withholding your vote until you get benefits from it.
He talks about the black bloc using press, lobbying and leadership to influence the election. It suggests there was more continuity in his thinking and that perhaps the NOI was more accommodating to political action than previously thought. They were independent citizens of their own nation.
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As a result, observers, scholars and historians thought not voting was hard-wired in the organization, ultimately limiting its efficacy. What this chapter suggests is that the NOI was moving to a place where it could see the vote as part of its political engagement. Why do you think this chapter was excluded? Was it considered too controversial?
The original publisher, Doubleday, dropped it after his assassination.
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The decision to exclude it had a lot more to do with the cohesiveness of the text that Haley was trying to establish. Haley was the main player.
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But Alex wanted a clear flow. This essay, written when it was written, muddles the supposed clean break Malcolm left when he left the NOI. I like to call it a shattering. He left with pieces and they left with pieces. I think the exclusion was a natural result of the evolution of the text into more of a story.
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Its title—'The Negro'—seemed innocuous enough. But the revolutionary civil-rights leader intended it to invoke a much harsher meaning. Jesse Jackson on M.