The Assassination of Malcolm X

Civil rights leader Malcolm X took the stage at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood on February 21, 1965. Minutes later, shortly after 3 p.m., the former prominent figure of the Nation of Islam took to the stage. was shot dead by three men as his wife, Betty Shabazz, pregnant with twins, and four daughters took shelter in the front row. He was 39 years old.

Reason and background

Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 19, 1925, was the most famous advocate of black nationalism during the civil rights era. Rising through the ranks of the Nation of Islam, he left the political and religious group in 1964, following a deeply strained relationship with leader Elijah Muhammad over political ideology (Malcolm believed that the Nation of Islam should stand by join civil rights protests), as well as moral (he was also distressed to learn that Muhammad had fathered several children from several women). By digging the ditch, when Malcolm called the assassination of President John F. Kennedy “chickens coming home to roost,” Muhammad silenced him for 90 days.

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