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Malcolm X

Source: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images / Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Malcolm X  was murdered 59 years ago, on February 21, 1965, civil rights activist and leader Malcolm X was tragically assassinated at the age of 39. Three individuals from the Nation of Islam, namely Thomas Hagan, Norman Butler, and Thomas Johnson, were implicated in Malcolm’s death. Only Hagan confessed to the crime, while the other two maintained their innocence. Malcolm X was killed while addressing the Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, in the presence of his wife and children.

A week before his assassination, his home in East Elmhurst, Queens, was attacked with Molotov cocktails, resulting in a fire. Despite the threats he faced, Malcolm X remained defiant, stating to the New York Daily News after the incident, “It could have been done by any one of many. I’m not surprised that it was done. It doesn’t frighten me… it doesn’t quiet me down in any way or shut me up.”

Malcolm X had been under close surveillance by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover for some time, and there are speculations that his murder had deeper motives beyond what was initially believed.

As we honor the memory of the influential leader Malcolm X during Black History Month, let’s reflect on the progress made and the ongoing efforts needed to secure the freedom and rights of Black individuals in America.