Muhammad Ali with Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, his mother Odessa Clay and a crowd of fans at his home in Miami on February 28, just 3 days after winning his first Heavyweight title vs Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was leaving a news conference one afternoon when a tall man with a coppery complexion stepped out of the crowd and blocked his path. Malcolm X, the African-American Muslim leader who once called King “Rev. Dr. Chicken-wing,” extended his hand and smiled.
“Well, Malcolm, good to see you,” King said after taking Malcolm X’s hand.
“Good to see you,” Malcolm X replied as both men broke into huge grins while a gaggle of photographers snapped pictures of their only meeting.
That encounter on March 26, 1964, lasted only a minute. But a photo of that meeting has tantalized scholars and supporters of both men for more than 45 years.
As the 85th birthday of Malcolm X is marked on Wednesday, history has freeze-framed him as the angry black separatist who saw whites as blue-eyed devils. Yet near the end of his life, Malcolm X was becoming more like King – and King was becoming more like him. “In the last years of their lives, they were starting to move toward one another,” says David Howard-Pitney, who recounted the Capitol Hill meeting in his book “Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. "While Malcolm is moderating from his earlier position, King is becoming more militant,” Pitney says.
Malcolm X was reaching out to King even before he broke away from the Nation of Islam and embraced Sunni Islam after a pilgrimage to Mecca, says Andrew Young, a member of King’s inner circle at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights group King headed.“Even before his trip to Mecca, Malcolm used to come by the SCLC’s office,” Young says. “Unfortunately, Dr. King was never there when he came."
He reached out to King and other civil rights leaders. In 1965, Malcolm X traveled to Selma, Alabama, where King was leading a campaign, to offer support. "Brother Malcolm was definitely making an outreach to some civil rights leaders,” says A. Peter Bailey, an original member of the group Malcolm X founded, The Organization of Afro-American Unity, and a friend of Malcolm X. “He believed that the one who would be most responsive would be Dr. King.”
The Muslim leader had developed an appreciation for King, Bailey says.“He had come to believe that King believed in what he was doing,” Bailey says. “He believed in nonviolence; it just wasn’t a show. He developed respect for him. I heard him say you have to give respect to men who put their lives on the line.”
King’s movement toward Malcolm began as he shifted the civil rights movement to the North, friends and scholars say. During the last three years of his life, King became more radical. He talked about eliminating poverty and providing a guaranteed annual income for all U.S. citizens. He came out against the Vietnam War, and said American society would have to be restructured.He also veered into Malcolm X’s rhetorical territory when he started preaching black self-pride, says Pitney.
“King is photographed a number of times in 1967 and ‘68 wearing a 'Black is Beautiful’ button,’ ” Pitney says.
A year before King died, the journalist David Halberstam even told him he “sounded like a nonviolent Malcolm X,” Pitney says.
In the epic PBS civil rights series, Coretta Scott King, the civil rights leader’s widow, said King never took Malcolm X’s biting criticisms of his nonviolence stance personally. “I know Martin had the greatest respect for Malcolm …,” she said. “I think that if Malcolm had lived, at some point the two would have come closer together and would have been a very strong force.”
janellemonaeThis post is called “THE FIRST” (inspired by Ms. Mary Jackson) The First all black cast to win best picture. The First time multiple African-American writers have received an Oscar in the same year. The First African American Muslim to win best supporting actor. The First Queer/LGBTQ film to win best picture. The First African American writer and director to win best picture. Made on a 1.5 million budget NOTHING can overshadow the HISTORY THAT WAS MADE LAST NIGHT. i beam with so much pride. I hope and pray anyone who ever felt like they didn’t belong or their voice didn’t matter woke up today feeling proud to be YOU. #MOONLIGHT#BLACKHISTORY
A personal graphic design project I’ve been working on with the recent political stuff going on. I’ve lately been feeling like disagreeing and discrimination have become synonyms for one another, but it’s simply not true. You can still love and care about someone and disagree with their beliefs. You are loved just as you are.
When I was in middle school there was this Muslim girl that wore a hijab every day.
Our PE/gym room had one of those divider curtains that comes down from the ceiling and separates the gym in half - and we’d use it to separate the boys from the girls.
One day when the curtain was down she took off her hijab and had the longest, waviest, most beautiful hair i’ve ever seen (it went down to the back of her knees).
Keep in mind this school was majority black - so all these girls (like me) weren’t used to hair like this - so she’d let us comb it and braid it and play with it.
One day while we were playing with her hair some boys walked around the curtain to leave the gym.
The Muslim girl started freaking out and panicking, saying boys couldn’t see her like this - so - and I will always remember this - this is what we did:
Keep in mind the majority of girls here were Christians or some other religion than Muslim - but anyway, as soon as the boys walked past the curtain, all the girls, even the ones she wasn’t friends with, formed a giant circle around her - keeping her in the centre and blocking her from the view of the boys.
I was in 7th grade when this happened. We didn’t care that we weren’t the same religion, but every single girl in that gym class (over 80 people) helped her. Even the kids who didn’t necessarily like her.
And if that doesn’t warm your heart - then idk what will.