This month marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of Malcolm X. Antony Hamilton looks at his life and politics.
Malcolm X is one of the great icons of the Black Power movement. He inspired a generation to resist racism “by any means necessary”. His life was a battle of ideas in which he responded to institutional racism and segregation with tactics that evolved alongside the struggle for civil rights. Speaking in January 1965, a month before his murder, Malcolm X warned of impending social upheaval and global revolution:
Saladin Ambar, author of Malcolm X at the Oxford Union, spoke to Socialist Review about Malcolm's historic 1964 speech, and why his ideas will remain relevant as long as oppression persists.
I was looking at Malcolm X speeches for my students and I came across the Oxford speech. The more I looked at it the more I thought this was not just a speech; it was a moment. There was this “Oxford moment” both in Malcolm’s life and in the political life of the UK with the 1964 election and a changing dynamic in terms of colonialism, and in the US, with race relations starting to go in a different direction.
When radical black American leader Malcolm X spoke at the Oxford Union in 1963 his speech was hailed as a "30 minute explosion that is perhaps the best encapsulation of [his] ultimate views on race, American politics and what can only be called universal human rights".
In his book Malcolm X at Oxford Union, Racial Politics in a Global Era, Saladin Ambar explores one of the world's most inspiring revolutionary leaders during the last year of his life, leading to one of his most anticipated debates hosted by the Oxford student union debating society.
Manning Marable, an academic and activist, died in April this year, just three days before the release of his biography of Malcolm X, the great icon of the Black Power Movement.Brian Richardson looks at this landmark book and the extraordinary life of Malcolm X
Malcolm X is unquestionably the great icon of the Black Power Movement. His emergence in the mid-1960s sparked one of the most exciting and dramatic episodes in the history of black struggle in the United States. There had been a rising tide of anti-racist struggle from the mid-1950s onwards. The Civil Rights Movement led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr succeeded both in desegregating many municipal and private facilities across the Southern states and forcing the US federal government into passing civil and voting rights legislation in 1964 and 1965.
Mike Davis pays tribute to Malcolm X, killed forty years ago
Forty years ago, in the winter of 1964-65, I was one of the teenage kids working in the New York City national office of Students for a Democratic Society. Most of my friends in the office were working 16-hour days to organise the first march on Washington DC (17 April 1965) to protest against Lyndon Johnson's escalation of US intervention, especially his brutal bombing campaign against North Vietnam.