[Marxism] Encountering Malcolm X | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 21 08:15:54 MST 2020


Watching the six-part documentary “Who Killed Malcolm X?” on Netflix 
stirred up powerful memories of how important he was to my political 
evolution. While the documentary is focused on exploring the Nation of 
Islam’s (NOI) role in his murder, it also sheds light on Malcolm’s 
post-NOI political odyssey. By creating a rival movement to the 
pseudo-Islamist sect, he risked a fatal encounter with four assassins on 
this date fifty-five years ago at the Audubon Ballroom in New York.

Just six weeks before his death, I heard Malcolm X speak at the Palm 
Gardens in New York. I went with my girlfriend Dian, who was on midterm 
break from Bard College, just like me. I remember taking a seat about 
ten rows from the podium and being perplexed by the five or so leaflets 
on the chair that advertised rallies or meetings geared to radicals. 
Although I was much more of an existentialist liberal a la Camus in 
1965, I was eager to hear Malcolm speak. Little did I know at the time 
that the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), a sect I would join two years 
later, organized the meeting. The Trotskyists placed leaflets on the 
chairs to draw people closer to the party, an approach that the Internet 
would supersede just as Facebook would supersede the mimeograph machine.

full: https://louisproyect.org/2020/02/21/encountering-malcolm-x/



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