A half century ago, Malcolm X was a rival to Martin Luther King, not merely to the black community, but to how whites reacted to a strong black leader. His rhetoric of defiance often elicited anger from whites because Malcolm X would not soften words of hate and pain. The Autobiography of Malcolm X was regarded in the 1960s as a powerful document which presented black views that many did not believe were shared by Martin Luther King. A missing introduction to the book has finally been published and it conveys ideas that were not commonly associated with the author in the 1960s.
“I’m writing this book for the best interests of the Negro and the white man in America. Most sincerely I want my life story to do as much good for America and for both race as possible… I give my life to be used to benefit America and humanity, that America will learn that the Negro’s problem is a challenge to America’s consciousness and that the Negro is America’s problem.”
As one who always believed Malcolm X was speaking for all people, not just for the Negro, we welcome the truth about a great leader.