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Malcolm X in his own words

Malcolm X bookBy Patrick Delices
Special to the NNPA

Award-winning journalist Herb Boyd and human rights activist Ilyasah Al-Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, will release the long-awaited diary of Malcolm X on Nov. 10. The anticipated launch date is the 50th anniversary of “Message to the Grassroots,” a speech delivered by Malcolm X at King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, Boyd’s hometown.

In “The Diary of Malcolm X,” Boyd and Al-Shabazz provide the reader with a poignant memory of Malcolm X, one of the greatest leaders and humanitarians in African American history, who unabashedly championed the global cause of sovereignty for Africans worldwide. Boyd and Al-Shabazz render valid Malcolm’s intellectualism, socio-political propositions, economic strategy, and perspicacious global discernment without yielding to prevarications, absurdities, personal dissolutions and idealist notions regarding Malcolm’s life as a global Black leader, caring father and loving husband.

For Boyd, “The Diary of Malcolm X” is a “part of Malcolm’s historical records” that “humanizes him.” Hence, the book is an exposition to Malcolm’s humanity where the reader will engage Malcolm X in his own words and thoughts.

Al-Shabazz states, “It’s really beautiful that we get to see Malcolm in his own voice — without scholars, historians or observers saying what he was thinking or what he was doing or what he meant.” Accordingly, for Boyd, “The Diary of Malcolm X” is “probably the most critical thing (Malcolm) left behind” because it is simply “Malcolm uninterrupted — without any kind of editorial interference” where “Malcolm needs to speak and have his own words heard without any type of intervention.”

Boyd indicates Malcolm’s daily entries were “compiled over two trips Malcolm made to Africa and the Middle East.” Boyd further states Malcolm did not miss a single day in recording his thoughts during that period..

Malcolm’s distinctive handwritten entries rendered more than 200 pages on his socio-political experience overseas along with his exegesis on global events from April 15, 1964 to Nov. 17, 1964.

When numerous dignitaries in Africa warned Malcolm X that his life was in danger, many African leaders offered Malcolm X an opportunity to take refuge in Africa. With purpose, conviction and valor, Malcolm X stated, “My life will be a small price to pay for such a vision” — a vision for sovereignty, using the philosophy of Pan-Africanism as a vehicle to achieve protective status and sovereign rights for African Americans “by any means necessary.”

As a diarist, Malcolm logged the material value of engaging African heads of state to bring forth to the United Nations human rights violations against the United States for their mistreatment of African Americans. Moreover, in his daily entries Malcolm observed and logged the potential capacity of the material wealth and power of Africa, and how that material wealth and power could benefit African Americans in terms of their fight for sovereignty. Today, Africa is the world’s fastest growing economy and emerging market where material wealth and resources matter, not idealism.

Malcolm X in his diary clearly had the intellectual capacity and theory of the mind to perceive and understand that materialism, not idealism, builds sovereign nations, people and institutions.

To this extent, “The Diary of Malcolm X” elucidates a sovereign Pan-African state should be the material vision of African Americans where matter is primary and accords an African-centered consciousness. This material vision as expressed by Malcolm X integrates a system analysis of the economic, political and cultural reality of the global African community.

If African Americans are serious about becoming a sovereign people, this book is a must read. Pan-Africanist poet and founder and publisher of Third World Press Haki Madhubuti said “The Diary of Malcolm X” is “one of the most important books that we’ve published.” What makes “The Diary of Malcolm X” extremely important is simply Malcolm’s own words and thoughts, which are prophetic, priceless and worldly — thus distinguishably human.

Professor Patrick Delices is a Pan-African scholar who taught the History of Haiti, Caribbean Politics, African American Politics, and African Caribbean International Relations at Hunter College and served as a research fellow at Columbia University for the late, Pulitzer Prize historian, Manning Marable.  He is working on a book about the global impact of the Haitian Revolution. Professor Delices can be reached at

To order a copy of “The Diary of Malcolm X,” please visit–3 or contact Third World Press at 773.651.0700. 

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