Category: islam

Malcolm X during a demonstration against discriminatory hiring practices in Brooklyn, New York in 1963.

Photos by Bob Henriques

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Muhammad Ali photographed by Thomas Hoepker in Chicago, 1966.

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Muhammad Ali photographed by Thomas Hoepker in Chicago, 1966.

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Malcolm X photographed by John Launois in Cairo, August 1964.

R.I.P. (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965)

Muhammad Ali with his mentor

Malcolm X at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, 1964.

Malcolm arranged for Ali (then Cassius X) to meet with diplomats from Africa and Asia at the United Nations. Sports writer Murray Robinson noted in the New York Journal American that Malcolm intended to “make the heavyweight champion an international political figure.”

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Muhammad Ali:

“Malcolm was my brother, friend, mentor and often my confidant. He was a remarkable man whose thirst for truth and righteousness for all people set him on a path that often isolated him from others. But he knew it was the path that he must walk, regardless if he found himself walking alone. Malcolm inspired me with his eloquence and wisdom. He still inspires me. Sometimes the right road isn’t the easy road. It takes courage, conviction and personal sacrifice to stand up for truth and justice. Malcolm was that kind of man.”

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“When I am dead–I say it that way because from the things I know, I do not expect to live long enough to read this book in its finished form–I want you to just watch and see if I’m not right in what I say: that the white man, in his press, is going to identify me with “hate”. He will make use of me dead, as he has made use of me alive, as a convenient symbol, of “hatred”–and that will help him escape facing the truth that all I have been doing is holding up a mirror to reflect, to show, the history of unspeakable crimes that his race has committed against my race.” 

― Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)

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Malcolm X with his daughter Qubilah Shabazz

in Harlem

on February 20, 1965.  

He was assassinated the next day at the Audubon Ballroom in front of his wife and children.

(Photos by Duilio Pallottelli)

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Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X at the United Nations on March 4, 1964.

Malcolm X arranged for Ali (then Cassius X) to meet with diplomats from Africa and Asia at the United Nations.

Sports writer Murray Robinson noted in the New York Journal American that Malcolm X intended to “make the heavyweight champion an international political figure.” Malcolm and Ali made plans to tour Africa together. Days later on March 6, Elijah Muhammad gave Cassius the name Muhammad Ali and forbade all members to communicate with Malcolm after he was ostracized from the Nation of Islam.

A few months later in May 1964, Muhammad Ali had a chance meeting in Ghana, with his former friend and mentor Malcolm X but he turned his back on him.

“Turning my back on Malcolm,” wrote Ali in his 2004 autobiography The Soul of a Butterfly, “was one of the mistakes that I regret most in my life. I wish I’d been able to tell Malcolm I was sorry, that he was right about so many things.  But he was killed before I got the chance… Malcolm was the first to discover the truth, that color doesn’t make you a devil. It is the heart, soul, and mind that define a person. Malcolm was a great thinker and an even greater friend. I might never have become a Muslim if it hadn’t been for Malcolm. If I could go back and do it over again, I would never have turned my back on him.” 

(Read more about their relationship in the book Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X)

Happy Birthday Malcolm X! 

May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

“They called me ‘the angriest Negro in America.’ I wouldn’t deny that charge. I spoke exactly as I felt. ‘I believe in anger. The Bible says there is a time for anger.’ They called me ‘a teacher, a fomentor of violence.’ I would say point blank, That is a lie. I’m not for wanton violence, I’m for justice. I feel that if white people were attacked by Negroes –

if the forces of law prove unable, or inadequate, or reluctant to protect those whites from those Negroes

then those white people should protect and defend themselves from those Negroes, using arms if necessary. And I feel that when the law fails to protect Negroes from whites’ attack, then those Negroes should use arms, if necessary, to defend themselves.“

(Photos by John Launois, 1964)