American religious and political leader of the Black Muslims; formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity in 1964.
Carbon Typescript, signed in ink, one page, quarto, undated . This manuscript is a transcript of a page of interview notes from Alex Haley’s profile of Malcolm X for Playboy. In order to ensure his work’s accuracy, Haley had his notes typed and forwarded to Malcolm X for his review. Malcolm X then signed the page as an endorsement of the accuracy of the transcription.
The page begins with a question from Haley, “Mr. Malcolm, what are the principal ambitions and guiding goals of your organization?”
Malcolm X responds, “The principal ambitions are freedom, justice and equality. The guiding goal of every Muslim is to faithfully serve and follow The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He is our guide, spiritually, mentally, morally, socially, economically and politically. And he is guided by Allah.”
Haley: “What are the techniques employed in the effort to achieve these ambitions and goals?”
Malcolm X: “Mr. Muhammad first teaches us the knowledge of our own selves, and of our own people. Secondly, he cleans us up, morally, mentally and spiritually, and he reforms us of the vices that have blinded us here in the Western society. Thirdly, he teaches us love for our own kind. He restores our love for our own kind, which enables us to work together in unity and harmony. He shows us how to pool our financial resources and our talents, then to work together toward a common objective. Among other things we have small businesses in most major cities in this country and we want to create many more. We are taught by Mr. Muhammad that it is very important to improve the economy of the black man. And his thirst.”
Haley: “It is known that your organization’s ultimate dream, or goal, or ambition is that you want ‘several states’ to be emptied of white people for occupancy by Negroes only – presumably Black Muslims. Is this correct?” [No response indicated]
The Nation of Islam called for the establishment of a separate nation for black Americans and the adoption of a religion based on the belief that blacks are the chosen people of Allah. In 1952, Malcolm X joined the Nation of Islam and embarked on a series of speaking tours around the country. He soon became the movement’s most effective speaker and organizer. He founded many new mosques and greatly increased the movement’s membership. In 1961 he founded Muhammad Speaks, the official publication of the movement. He was eventually assigned to be minister of the important Mosque Number Seven in New York City’s Harlem area. Malcolm X’s forceful articulations of racial pride and Muslim principles made him a cultural hero, especially among black youth.
This interview took place at a secluded table in a Harlem restaurant owned by the Black Muslims. It was conducted by Alex Haley, American biographer, scriptwriter, and author of the novel Roots. Playboy allowed the interview to be published in May 1963, claiming that “the belief that knowledge and awareness are necessary and effective antitoxins against the venom of hate” [Playboy Magazine, May 1963].
This item is associated with the following category in our inventory:
- Black History