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Lost Malcolm X Speech Found

Hannah Madans |
February 5, 2012 | 4:52 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

courtesy Creative Commons
courtesy Creative Commons
A recording of a speech given by civil rights leader Malcolm X during a visit to Brown University was found by a student looking in the school’s archives.

Malcolm Burnley, the student who found the tapes, found a reference to Malcolm X’s visit in an old student newspaper and then found the recording.

"No one had listened to this in 50 years," Burnley told the Associated Press. "There aren't many recordings of him before 1962. And this is a unique speech — it's not like others he had given before.”

The speech was given more than 50 years ago.

The speech contained a great deal of humor and took the hard-line position that blacks should not integrate with whites.

Malcolm X told the crowd of around 800 that slavery “"has made the 20 million black people in this country a dead people ... Integration will not bring a man back from the grave,” reports The Daily Beast.

Malcolm X decided to visit the school after Richard Holbrooke, editor of the school’s paper and future American diplomat, ran an article in the paper about the growing Black Muslim movement. The article was written by Katharine Pierce.

Pierce was the first woman to be featured on the newspaper’s masthead. She also was the one to introduce Malcolm X.

"He came surrounded by a security detail," she told the AP. "You got the sense — this is an important person. He was handsome, absolutely charismatic. I was just bewildered that my class paper could have led to something like this."

In his speech, Malcolm X outlined the Black Muslims’ beliefs and said that blacks should not wait for whites to offer them equality.

The visit happened four years before he was assassinated.


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