Category: nation of islam

Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan (then Louis X) during a visit to Brandeis University in April 1963.


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)


Malcolm X photographed by Gordon Parks for

LIFE magazine promoting the Muhammad Speaks newspaper, 1962.

On the night of April 27, 1962, scores of policemen ransacked the Nation of Islam Mosque in Los Angeles and wounded seven unarmed Muslims, leaving Ronald Stokes dead and William Rogers who is seen in the wheelchair above paralyzed.

1/11/1963-New York, NY: Malcolm X, head of the New York branch of the Black Muslim religious sect, talks with newsmen during a demonstration before the trial of two members of the

Nation of Islam. Two members of the sect were selling the Black Muslim newspaper “Muhammad Speaks” in Times Square on December 25th, when police told them to move on because they were blocking a subway entrance.

2/13/1963-New York, NY: Malcolm X is interviewed by television reporters during a Nation of Islam demonstration in Times Square, protesting the arrest of African Americans on what the Nation is calling false charges. They walked around Times Square, and then demonstrated with signs at Duffy Square Broadway at 47th Street.

Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz during an interview on June 26, 1963.

Photos by Morris Warman

Malcolm X with

Dick Gregory, Sheikh Ahmed Hassoun, and Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, 1964.

In Mecca, Malcolm befriended a Sudanese named Shiekh Ahmed Hassoun who taught in Mecca for 35 years. He served as Malcolm’s spiritual adviser and later taught at

Malcolm’s Mosque

Inc., which Malcolm created four days after his departure from the Nation Of Islam in March 1964.  It was

Sheikh Hassoun

who prepared Malcolm’s body for burial at the Faith Temple Church of God in Harlem.

Abdul Rahman Mohammed Babu, was a Zanzibari revolutionary. As left-wing champion of the anti-colonial Pan-African movement, he laid the ideological groundwork for the Zanzibar revolution of January 1964, which led, three months later, to Tanganyika uniting with Zanzibar to form Tanzania.

(Photos by Robert L. Haggins)

Malcolm X announcing he has left the Nation of Islam

on March 8, 1964.

Malcolm X planned to create a Black Nationalist party that would cooperate with local civil rights actions in order to heighten political consciousness of Black Americans. Four days later, Malcolm announced the establishment of Muslim Mosque, Inc. On March 26, 1964, he had an unplanned meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a hallway after they both observed Senate filibuster on the Civil Rights Bill.

Later an informant reported that Elijah Muhammad had ordered Malcolm to surrender his home and car, both of which were owned by the NOI. On March 10th Malcolm told Ebony magazine that the Black Muslim leaders have “got to kill me. They can’t afford to let me live… I know where the bodies are buried and if they press me, I’ll exhume some.”

(Photo by Truman Moore/The LIFE Images Collection)


Malcolm X photographing his favorite subject, mentee, brother and friend Muhammad Ali.

Where are these pictures? Imagine an exhibit of Malcolm X photos!

Malcolm X photographed by Richard Avedon on March 27, 1963.