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Malcolm X in Accra, Ghana May 1964, holding the Koran given to him by Alhaji Isa Wali, Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana (RT) photo by Alice Windon

Alice Windom captured this moment when Malcolm X met with official dignities in Accra, Ghana during his months-long trip to Africa in 1964. In addition to documenting Malcolm’s visit as a  photographer of the civil rights movement, Windom helped plan the itinerary of his trip to Ghana, and was part of a larger group of ex-patriot Americans living in Africa at that time including Maya Angelou, John Henrik Clarke, and W.E.B. DuBois.

Windom was born in St. Louis, Missouri on March 30, 1936 to a family of educators. She attended Sumner High School in St. Louis and went on to college at Central State University (CSU) in Ohio. She eventually earner her Masters of Social Work from the University of Chicago in 1959. She lived and worked in Africa from 1962 to 1964 in Ghana as a secondary school teacher and secretary to the Ethiopian Ambassador.

Windom was interviewed for the Blackside/ROJA production, Malcolm X: Make it Plain. She gave a pre-interview, conducted over the phone prior to production and then a filmed interview for the program. Windom has a unique perspective due to her familiarity with both American and African culture. The Film & Media Archive has numerous related photographs and interviews of Malcolm X and his travels in Africa.

Windom continued living and working in Africa over the next decade first as an administrative assistant for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa from 1964 to 1968, and then as a social welfare organizer for the Department of Social Welfare in Lusaka, Zambia. She returned to St. Louis in the 1970s and worked as the director of social services at the St. Louis Medium Security Institution, eventually suing the City of St. Louis for racial and sexual discrimination and the denial of free speech.  (Source: The History Makers).

To inquire about the status of these interviews, please contact the Film & Media Archive.