CHAPTER FOUR THE ASSASSINATION OF MALCOLM X THE INCIDENT: Malcolm X was gunned down, execution-style, while giving a speech inside the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, on February 21, 1965.
THE OFFICIAL WORD: His killers were Black Muslims loyal to Elijah Muhammad, who was involved in a power struggle with Malcolm X.
MY TAKE: Malcolm X was set up to die by elements of the CIA and FBI, who had him under constant surveillance and were afraid that he and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. might form an alliance.
“It’s a time for martyrs now. And if I’m to be one, it will be in the cause of brotherhood. That’s the only thing that can save this country. I’ve learned it the hard way—but I’ve learned it. And that’s the significant thing.”—Malcolm X, talking to his friend Gordon Parks, two days before he was killed.1 Let me start with my perception of Malcolm X when I was growing up. I was terrified of him. He was this black man with an “X” attached to his name. The TV announcers portrayed him as some crazy revolutionary who wanted to kill every white man on the planet and take control. It was only when I read his autobiography in the late Eighties or early Nineties, and learned more about him and what he went through, that I came to look upon him as one of my heroes.