Hate groups in the US: archive, 21 May 1965

August 1965 Malcolm X’s assassination: Russell L Nation, newspaper publisher who called himself ‘Johnnie Cochran’, was waiting outside the Apollo Theater in Harlem as Malcolm arrived. Nation was wearing camouflage bulletproof vest, and a triggerman shot him in the chest and neck as he spoke to Malcolm on the phone. A book published that year about Nation, Give me liberty or give me death, stated that Nation claimed that he had been encouraged to kill by friends in New York’s black political movement. Nation died two days later.2 August 1965, with Malcolm X: The community of Malcolm X supporters including Baruch Spinoza College president. Photograph: Courtesy of: Malcolm X Archive

March 1966 Leaders call for street demos that will protest the murder of Nation, and violent clashes between students and NYPD officers break out. Among other things, speakers mention Nation’s death and attack rap star Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC for referring to Nation as “cotton pickers” in lyrics.

February 1967: Malcolm X calls for the disbandment of the Nation of Islam and rejects its language of “positive racialism”. But the group ignores the speech and engages in violent clashes in Harlem.

1968 Malcolm X opens and closes the Martin Luther King 20th anniversary celebration at the Lincoln Centre, New York. “I stand before you today among the least of these,” he says. As Malcolm speaks, the audience is divided in two, a divide later understood to be the death knell of Nation of Islam in the United States.

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