45 Years After the Assassination of Malcolm X

Friday, February 19, 2010

Malcolm X was assassinated 45 years ago this weekend. Earlier this year, WNYC Radio unearthed a 1960s interview between the civil rights leader and a reporter named Eleanor Fischer. On this somber anniversary, we consider Malcolm X’s legacy through the rediscovered tape, which has not been heard since the 1960s. We also speak to two people whose lives were profoundly affected by his leadership.

In the tape, Malcolm X talks passionately about the deep roots of segregation in America; the political and psychological state of the Black community; the need to build the Black leadership; and his strong condemnation of Martin Luther King's methods.

Earl Grant was a close associate of Malcolm X and one of the last people to see him alive. Peter Bailey is a former associate editor for Ebony Magazine and an original member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity.

Listen to the full interview with Malcolm X from 1960 here:


Peter Bailey and Earl Grant

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Jen Poyant

Comments [32]

chico williams

While I always respected Martin Luther King,I believed more in Brother Malcolm's approach.A firm steadfast delivery painfully truthful and to the point.

Sep. 16 2013 12:55 PM

To add to the discussion, Brother Malcolm, in the words of Earl Grant simply accepted being addressed "Malcolm." Nonetheless, I have always found it interesting that his names seem to correspondence with transitions in his life: Detroit Red or Red (Harlem, criminal years), Satan (imprisonment years), Malcolm Shabazz or X (NOI years) and El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (after NOI, Mecca and OAAU).

May. 26 2013 11:31 AM
Malek Abubekr from Guyana

Malcolm X has always been my favorite African Leader in this hemisphere.Although I admire the Hon.Min Louis Farrakhan,I try to imagine what the world would be like with the presence of Malcolm X.I was a baby 3 years old when Malcolm died but to this day he is my hero.
To all conscious African people in Guyana Malcolm X inspire greatness when we are faced with dire circumstances.

Apr. 21 2013 06:02 PM
Munawur from dubai

Malcom X i was not too fortunate to have seen him but his work and Sincearity towards addressing common issues and fight against race. He still rules our heart and minds and has been a great inspiraton ever since

May. 25 2011 12:35 AM
Philip from France

I believe Malcolm X was a real prophet, at least he prophesized words of great wisdom and we still want to hear more and more of those words and put them into practice. That man has been my ALL TIME HERO FOR YEARS. He truly inspires total admiration to have overcome such life tragedy in his youth and be turned to others. Malcolm X was not a black man to me he was A SUPERIOR HUMAN BEING with extraordinary compassion and love, a model for all humans and without having known him, I totally miss him. Josseline

Dec. 27 2010 04:13 AM
papabotts from NYC Environs

This is a great interview from before his split with Elijah Mohammed. He eclipsed that mans charisma and was purer in his desire to help his fellow men who were certainly deserving of the chance for equal opportunity to excel in this nation. Although not a Black man, I can see the value that Mr. X held to try and bring his race up in stature in our society. I especially admire his open mind after his hajj to Mecca that people of all stripes can live and survive together.
I'd love to know the truth behind his murder to ensure those who robbed him of his life and future got their due. This man could have created more change, undoubtedly, had he lived.

Dec. 19 2010 08:01 AM

A lot has changed since this interview. The fact that is has been exposed that the so called elite has lied about the so called Black people, to all of America. They have done evil through education. We were here before the colonizers came here. This is our land! We need to send them back on the navy ships.

Jul. 12 2010 11:02 AM
Kwame from London, UK

Brother Malcolm is my hero.

He was gifted, courageous, loving and he knew how to make us feel important and he didn't let us down in anyway whatsoever.

Brother Malcolm gave us such hope in uniting us as a people.

What I love about Brother Malcolm X is he wasn't scared to put his life on the line onto us and that's what made me admire him for all his dedication he had for and the time he gave onto us.

Brother Malcolm is the greatest human rights leader and hero of my history.

Jun. 01 2010 06:30 AM

I am so glad I came across this interview video! An eye opening experience!

May. 28 2010 01:59 PM
deborah from bakersfield california

i was a child when macolm was assisinated. my parents wouldn't talk about him., i do remeber the racial violoence and tension of the.60"s..,and do understand where he was coming from.when he talk in his speech concering be equal with our counterpart.its reminds me of God bless the child that has his own..but don't forget your brother and sistwer that do not.ome of his teaching should be applied in schools today.

May. 23 2010 12:12 AM

I enjoyed listened to the interview. I grew up during the era when Malcolm was a visible leader. I find that many of the statements that he made in the interview still resonate as true to my way of thinking on our right to determine our own destiny and the need for our economic independence.

Malcolm's views should be included in studies on The Civil Rights Era. He had a following just like MLK. I think that by excluding his views a false picture is being given about the influences during that era.

I have had to correct my own children's thoughts on how we were politically inclined during this era of our story. They use to believe that every Black person in America was willing to take a beating without a response. That we were all willing to go along with MLKs ideology. They were surprised to learn that there were Black people who believed otherwise.

May. 19 2010 12:34 PM
Caty W. from new jersey

I am the same age as the eldest daughter of Malcolm X. I love Malcolm X because he feared no man black or white. I am in awe to this day when I view footage of his speeches, he stood unflinchingly and declared his beliefs. I am not a muslim but there has not been another individual that matches him.

Apr. 28 2010 01:19 PM
alhassan ahmed from ANY


Apr. 28 2010 08:24 AM
Mr Vic

It is my feelings is that,Malcolm X was and still is the most prolific and most social aware black leader ever,after him there will be no more.

Apr. 27 2010 10:35 PM
aya from Egypt

I an arabian muslim person .Read the holy Quran and judge.

Apr. 15 2010 07:07 PM
R. Bassett from norfolk

I had to do a powerpoint presentation , the instructor picked Malcolm X, I tried to do the presentation justice by covering his life, and his influence on society. It is quite apparent he was way ahead of his time in his thinking especially after his pilgrimage to mecca

Apr. 12 2010 04:54 PM
Joe Bailey from Richmond VA

Growing up as a youth In the Bailey household yes A. Peter Bailey is my father, hearing about Malcolm X was mandatory. Feeling like a part of Malcolm X's intelligent, truthfull, upright, by any means necessary attitude,and a profound father figure. Malcolm X was allways the backbone ingredient for me & my brother named Malcolm upbringing in school and abroad.Thankfull now for my Dad making us write black history reports about him and other famous black leaders and historians. We were able to utilize his teachings which we have and will continue to pass on to our children. Malcolm X was then and is still now the Master Teacher.

Apr. 10 2010 12:23 AM

thanks for this historic reminder. Malcolm X was a visionary. We continue to learn from him far into the future!!!

Mar. 28 2010 12:41 PM
blazintrails from california

I used to think that Jamie Fox's portrayal of Ray Charles was the best and most accurate portrayal of an icon in motion picture history but after seeing Denzel Washington's portrayal of Malcolm X, the performance is unmatched. Denzel truly captured the essence and passion, even the voice texture of Malcolm X just incredible. Thanks to Spike Lee and Denzel Washington for delivering an accurate portrayal of Malcolm X and for keeping his cause and legacy alive for all to witness. The scene in the court room where Malcolm is talking about segregation and aluding to the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13, 14 and 15 amedment to the constitution is something all students from sixth grade on should be exposed to. Unfortunately, California schools has all but eliminated history in it's schools.

Mar. 17 2010 10:08 PM
dwayne from georgia

When I first saw Mr.X I did not pay him any attention, but through the years I have seen he was right on just about everything he said. This man was a living prophet. I am not a mulism, I do not like arabs, because i know for a fact they do not like black people. I am a black man and I believe all that Malcolm said it is true. I will never forgive mulisms or killing this man. Malcolm X could have saved us all.

Mar. 15 2010 07:24 AM
Lil Bay

All together I've been reading the Quran on an off about 4 years I've accpted Islam for about 3 Im so ready to save my money for Hajj.

Mar. 13 2010 10:48 PM
Congoman from United Kingdom

I lerning to love this Man as an aspiring politician I need to learn from Malcom X. check this ""An angry dissatisfied and hostile cat in your house is more dangerous than a full grown lion""
that speks volumes.

God bless you M.x

Mar. 07 2010 04:14 AM
Raven from NVM

I love Malcom X! I'm a 12 year old and he rocks....KEEP your bad comments to yourselves. Thank you. Peaces.

Mar. 02 2010 01:24 PM
Halima Robinson from chChicago

my daughter is writing a project about malcolmx

Feb. 26 2010 04:39 PM


Feb. 25 2010 12:24 PM
The Good looking One

IO would like extract from his speeches were he emphasizes that Black Americans through education should make the country dependant on the who have help build this nation.

Feb. 25 2010 06:51 AM
Ellis Hutchinson from Dayton, OH.

Malcolm X became Al Malik Al Shabazz after he made the Hajj to Mecca. There's no holiday in his honor I'm not sure if his profile is on a stamp but Malcolm had a profound impact on the lives of many Blacks in American and around the world.

The late actor Ossie Davis called Malcolm our Black manhood and "Our Shining Black Prince" Malcolm was not afraid to speak the truth he told Black people the truth about themselves and he told America the truth about its lies and hypocrisy.

I say "Long live the spirit of Malcolm X"

Feb. 23 2010 03:54 AM
Danny from Detroit

Malcolm X is worth noting regularly, as he was a critically important historical figure. This was an informative interview with him in his earlier manifestation, before he split with Elijah Muhammad.

Great general article why he remains important:


Feb. 23 2010 02:31 AM

Madela was not an Amercian, sorry!

Feb. 19 2010 02:36 PM

No I would like a news program without the adoration of the news subject. Elvis, was not a political figure, Mandela and Mr. X were and are.

Feb. 19 2010 02:34 PM

Perhaps John would like to hear about Elvis, that would fit more conveniently in his impression of American history. Given he admires those who stand tall, he should appreciate the adoration.

Feb. 19 2010 10:37 AM

The coverage of this event is not news, but adoration. Can the reporters calm down and do the story. Same thing happened with the Madela segments. Get off your knees and be reporters with a news show.

Feb. 19 2010 07:55 AM

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