Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Have a Conversation While Surrounded by Fellow Activists and Members of the Press

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Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965, while speaking at Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom. His death was quickly chalked up to bad blood between Malcolm and the Nation of Islam (NOI). The truth is anyone’s guess.

Related: The Hidden Hand: The Assassination of Malcolm X

Since the investigation into this assassination left more questions than answers, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to answer some of those questions.

1. How Bad Was the Blood Between Malcolm X and NOI?

Malcolm X cut ties with NOI in 1964, shortly before his death. His decision to leave didn’t come out of the blue. He was deeply uncomfortable with Elijah Muhammad’s infidelity and disheartened by NOI’s inaction against the LA police department’s violent behavior towards Muslims.

The last straw was Malcolm breaking an important NOI policy about not reacting to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Malcolm did, calling it “the chickens coming home to roost.” He left soon after being silenced from saying anything else about the incident. At the time of his assassination, he was widely seen by many NOI members as a traitor.

2. How Did the Government Treat Malcolm X?

It was rare for civil rights organization members not tobe under 24/7 surveillance by the FBI and law enforcement, and even rarer for these organizations to not have at least one FBI informant within their ranks.

Malcolm was no exception. The FBI started surveilling him in March 1953. Their special infiltration unit, the Bureau of Special Services (BOSS), possibly infiltrated the organizations that Malcolm set up after leaving NOI.

He was widely seen as a threat by law enforcement agencies, as evidenced by the communique by the then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that read, “do something about Malcolm X.”

FBI building

3. Were There Any Threats Made to Malcolm X?

A week before his assassination, Malcolm X was asleep with his wife and children at his New York City residence when it was firebombed. No charges were made—it’s not like such antics against activists were rare in those days.

It’s not clear whether the ones who made the threat ultimately killed him. However, the incident was nothing if not serious and was sure to have driven home the threat to his life and that of the people near and dear to him. Be that as it may, it didn’t prevent Malcolm from speaking out about the incident.

Uncover the Mystery Surrounding the Malcolm X Assassination

As the convictions of those accused of killing Malcolm X are overturned, join Kennedys and King to uncover the truth behind the incident once and for all. Go through our multimedia to know more than you ever have about the political assassinations of the 1960s, including the unsolved political murders of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X.

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A Graffiti Featuring Martin Luther King's Famous Quote, "I Am A Man"

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A little over 55 years ago, Martin Luther King gave a speech titled "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence" at New York City's Riverside Church. It divided the nation and drew heavy criticism from major newspapers, political organizations, and fellow activists. Exactly a year later, he was assassinated. Click here for details.

The Point of "Beyond Vietnam"

"Beyond Vietnam" was the first time MLK went on record to state his opinion on the Vietnam War. He was addressing a gathering of 3,000, so it was guaranteed to elicit a reaction.

King categorically condemned the Vietnam War, calling it an economic and human burden on the country's poor working class. He called for the resources being spent on the war to be redirected to equal rights for America's minorities.

His opinions drew the furor of many and the support of some. The former either termed it unpatriotic or claimed it threw a wrench in the civil rights movement Malcolm X by making it an extension of the more radical peace movement.

Following are the highlights from his memorable, opinion-shaping speech.

"An Enemy of the Poor"

By terming war "an enemy of the poor," MLK meant that the Poor People's Campaign, which was flourishing before the war, was in shambles as soon as those very poor people were sent off to a senseless war.

The civil rights leader sounded resigned when he said he knew better than to think the US government would ever divert funds towards rehabilitating the country's poor white and black people.

homeless man

"In Brutal Solidarity"

King used the word "in brutal solidarity" to describe white and black people who were united in the cruelest way possible. They were being sent 8,000 miles away from home to guarantee freedom and restore the rights of an entirely different population when they hardly had any civil rights at home.

Instead of seating white and black students together, we're uniting them in a matter of life and death. He called it a "manipulation" of America's poverty-stricken community.

"This Self-Defeating Path"

King termed hate a "self-defeating path," saying he wanted his country to stop worshipping concepts of hate and revenge. Although uttered 55 years ago, his words are just as relevant today because the US has not learned from history. Its foreign policies continue to override the issues back home that have worsened due to neglect and lack of effective action.

By uttering those words, King wanted his country to take the high road, let bygones be bygones, and focus on its development.

Coming Back to the Martin Luther King Assassination

Martin Luther King gave his famous speech on April 4, 1967. Ironically, he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. The dates might be a coincidence, but the coverups that followed his assassination are no coincidence.

Stay tuned as we challenge and debunk the many lies that have permeated the mainstream since the Assassination of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X.

Get in touch to contribute your thoughts, resources, and insights.

Two Streets in Harlem Named After Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

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Although Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. wanted equality and justice for their community, their visions were like two sides of the same coin. Unlike King, Malcolm X didn’t believe in racial integration or support the civil rights movement facts.

In today’s Kennedys and King update, let’s explore these two political figures and where their paths met and diverged.

Parallels Near the End

Malcolm X flipped the script completely after returning from his pilgrimage to Mecca. After endorsing separation and promoting self-defense rhetoric his entire life, the activist started promoting brotherhood regardless of one’s race. This change was inspired by the integration, peace, and harmony between pilgrims in Mecca.

He publicly recognized wanting the same thing as Dr. King: freedom. However, that was hardly the case for most of the minister’s life.

Martin’s Interpretation of Freedom

While King and Malcolm X wanted to free their community from the shackles of their brutal past, their approach was as different as day and night. King supported non-violence.

He advocated for equal rights for all of humanity but never used unprovoked violence as the means to achieve them. The bills signed into law thanks to King’s contributions supported integration, not further segregation and isolation of the African American community.

King only hired armed security detail when his Montgomery house was firebombed. In other words, he took up arms to safeguard the Civil Rights Movement, not to add an element of violence to it.

Malcolm X

Malcolm’s Interpretation of Freedom

On the flip side, you have Malcolm X, who, unlike King, preferred street corners over churches. Embittered by the cruel way his elders were abducted from their homes, he denied being an American for most of his life. He even changed his last name to “X”, effectively removing the last name given to his forefathers by their masters.

Unlike King, Malcolm’s allegiance to the Nation of Islam made him seek a separate, not united, society for his people. While he recommended self-defense over unprovoked police violence, his motto was “by any means necessary,” which one could interpret as a defense to any threat, even if that wasn’t his intention.

The Road from Scorn to Admiration

Malcolm X wasn’t all praise for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the onset. He openly mocked and criticized the Civil Rights Movement, even going as far as to call the historic March on Washington a “farce” and “circus.”

However, that all changed after the pilgrimage to Mecca and the ensuing estrangement with the Nation of Islam. Learn how Malcolm X perceived the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King’s role before he joined the political assassinations of the 1960s on Kennedys and King. Delve deeper into the events before and after the malcolm x assassination and see how you can help us uncover the truth behind the political murders of that decade.

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 A Black-and-White Shot of Martin Luther King Jr. in a Suit Waving a Hand

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This year marks the 54 years since Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Tennessee to support 1,300 sanitation workers in their quest for equal rights. It wasn't his first stop, but that fateful evening on April 4, 1968, at exactly 6:05 p.m., it would prove to be his last.

Today, Kennedys and King take you further into the events of the day of this brave leader's assassination.

A Death Prompted by Death

MLK's death wasn't directly prompted by death; it was more of a butterfly effect—a melting pot that had gone unwatched for quite a while. Let us explain.

  • February 1, 1968: A garbage truck malfunctions, killing two sanitation workers.
  • February 12, 1968: After several attempts at negotiating better working conditions for Black sanitation workers, a strike is announced, picket lines are erected, and signs are held to protest poor working conditions for Tennessee's sanitation workers.
  • April 3, 1968: King and his aides arrive in Memphis to support the protest.
  • April 4, 1968: King falls after someone fires a single shot from a high-powered rifle.

MLK quote

The Reason Behind Staying at the Lorraine Motel

When MLK checked into Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel on April 3, 1968, he had no idea it would become a crime scene the next day. His reasons for staying at the motel were simple: it was one of those rare places that hosted African American guests.

A few hours after checking into the motel, King gave his last public speech at Mason Temple Church. Famously titled "I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” a slightly under-the-weather MLK would end up talking about his mortality, entirely unaware of his impending demise.

The Details of the Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination

We all know that MLK was standing on the balcony of his room when he was shot. But why was he there? There are more what-ifs in his assassination than any other political assassinations of the 1960s:

  • What if MLK hadn’t been invited to have dinner with Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles at his home?
  • What if he hadn’t emerged on the balcony of his room?
  • What if Andrew Young hadn’t asked him to get his coat?
  • What if the fatal shot had landed on his shoulder instead of his face?

The activist and leader died an hour after a single rifle shot shattered his jaw and spinal column and severed his spinal cord.

Discover the Aftermath on Kennedys and King

Do you want to know what happened after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.? Explore the manhunt that followed his demise and the documents revealed since the events of that fateful day in April 1968 on Kennedys and King.

Read our articles, blogs, and archives to learn the truth behind the political murders of the 1960s, particularly those of Malcolm X, Robert F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Reach out to know how you can contribute to our cause.


A Toy Recreation of the Parade from the John F. Kennedy Assassination

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The Warren Commission was set up to investigate the deaths of President John F. Kennedy and his alleged killer, Lee Harvey Oswald. Chaired by US Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Commission’s results experienced heavy criticism as soon as they became public.

In today’s Kennedys and King blog, we’ll go over some details behind the details of its 888-page report.

1. Earl Warren’s Personal Stake in the Investigation

While committees have previously returned with more credible results, personal affairs notwithstanding, Earl Warren’s wasn’t one of them. The US Chief Justice was a close friend of the Kennedy family. His sentiments shouldn’t have impeded the investigation, but records show otherwise.

From limiting access to Kennedy’s autopsy photos to barring the Commission from interviewing Jackie Kennedy, there’s no shortage of instances where he fell short of his duty, which might’ve affected the warren commission results.

2. The Super-Secret Fidel Castro Interview

The idea that Fidel Castro might’ve killed Kennedy is just that, an idea. However, it’s a conspiracy theory that the Commission thought fit to look into.

During a three-hour off-the-record interview, which was so lowkey it wasn’t even revealed to key Warren Commission members, Castro denied the charges against him repeatedly, just like he did in public.

Unfortunately, we’ll never see a transcript of this interview as no one took notes during the proceedings, and the people who knew are long gone.

Fidel Castro

3. The Gerald Ford Leaks

Gerald Ford was one of the congressmen on the Warren Commission, but he was also an FBI informant. He constantly leaked information about their progress to the Bureau’s Director, J. Edgar Hoover.

What’s more interesting is that this reveal wasn’t common knowledge until 2006, months after Ford’s death, when a cache of declassified documents suggested Ford as the one to approach the FBI with this information.

4. The FBI-CIA Interference

The FBI and CIA might’ve interfered with the investigation by telling lies and destroying evidence that could’ve changed the report drastically. Their transgressions included:

  • Not admitting to surveilling Oswald in the days leading up to the investigation.
  • Destroying a note left by Oswald threatening an FBI agent before the assassination.
  • Removing the FBI agent’s name from the address book transcript.
  • Lying about their activities in the days leading up to the assassination.

5. The Motiveless Murder

You’d think a president’s murder would have a rhyme and reason to it, but the Commission thought otherwise. While they recreated the event and proposed the assassin, they didn’t provide a plausible motive for the President’s assassination.

The Warren Commission experienced collusion, breach of privacy, and conflict of interest, among other things. There were enough of them to alter the course of the investigation.

Visit our website if you’re interested in the findings of the Warren Commission. Check out all the analyses on a report that concealed the truth behind the JFK assassination, learn important facts about Lee Harvey Oswald, and show your support through text and audio contributions.

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