Monday, April 4, 2011

Malcolm X Had Sex With a Man: book

For decades author, historian and Columbia University professor Manning Marable dedicated his life to researching the life of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X. Last fall he completed “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” a 594-page biography full of new and startling information and insights which goes on sale today. According to the New York Times, the book challenges both popular and scholarly portrayals of Malcolm X, describing a man often subject to doubts about theology, politics and other matters: revealed the his real killer; and revealed that Malcolm X was bisexual, having at least one sexual relationship with another man.
The book’s account of the assassination of Malcolm X, then 39, on Feb. 21, 1965, is likely to be its most incendiary claim. Mr. Marable contends that although Malcolm X embraced mainstream Islam at least two years before his death, law-enforcement authorities continued to see him as a dangerous rabble-rouser.

“They had the mentality of wanting an assassination,” Gerry Fulcher, a former New York City police detective who participated in the surveillance of Malcolm X, told Mr. Marable for the book.

That is why “law-enforcement agencies acted with reticence when it came to intervening with Malcolm’s fate,” the book asserts. “Rather than investigate the threats on his life, they stood back.”
Based on his new material, Mr. Marable concluded that only one of the three men convicted of killing Malcolm X was involved in the assassination, and that the other two were at home that day. The real assassination squad, he writes, had four other members, with connections to the rival Nation of Islam’s Newark mosque — two of whom are still alive and have never been charged.

Since Malcolm X’s death, the posthumous “Autobiography,” along with “Malcolm X,” Spike Lee’s 1992 film drawn from it, has made a pop-culture hero out of the man who was born Malcolm Little. But the Marable book contradicts and complicates key elements of his life story.

Malcolm X himself contributed to many of the fictions, Mr. Marable argues, by exaggerating, glossing over or omitting important incidents in his life. These episodes include a criminal career far more modest than he claimed, an early homosexual relationship with a white businessman, his mother’s confinement in a mental hospital for nearly 25 years and secret meetings with leaders of groups as divergent as the Ku Klux Klan and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

“Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” shows, for instance, that at a time when Malcolm X claimed in the autobiography to have “devoted himself to increasingly violent crime” in New York, he was actually in Lansing, Mich., his hometown. Mr. Marable attributes the embroidery of “amateurish attempts at gangsterism” to Malcolm X’s wish to demonstrate that the Nation of Islam’s gospel of pride and self-respect had the power to redeem even the most depraved criminal.

“In many ways, the published book is more Haley’s than its author’s,” Mr. Marable writes, noting that Haley, who died in 1992, was a liberal Republican and staunch integrationist who held “racial separation and religious extremism in contempt” but was “fascinated by the tortured tale of Malcolm’s personal life.”
The book claims to have evidence that Al-Mustafa Shabazz, who was once known as William Bradley, is Malcolm X's assassin. Marable writes that he confirmed that the two men are one and the same through multiple sources inside the black Muslim community. In the book, Marable claims that "Willie Bradley" was just 15 feet away from Malcolm X in the auditorium in New York City where he was about to speak, on the afternoon of Feb. 21, 1965, when "he elevated his sawed-off shotgun from under his coat, took careful aim, and fired … This was the kill shot, the blow that executed Malcolm X …" Sidebar: Sadly, Mr Marble died on Friday after suffering from sarcoidosis. He was 60.
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