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  1. Russell Hart
    October 13, 2021 @ 5:40 pm

    Hello— I’m very much looking forward to coming to your museum in a couple of weeks. I just wanted to point out, if you don’t mind, a concern with the introduction to the museum on your landing page. It reads “We all know the civil rights giants. Martin, Rosa, and Malcolm don’t even require a last name.”

    Though Malcolm X wanted to empower people of color and was an advocate for human rights in general, he was not a supporter of the American civil rights movement. Like Marcus Garvey before him, he wanted black Americans to return to Africa, and in the meantime to form their own separate nation within America. He believed fervently in segregation, not integration. He even criticized Dr. King and the civil rights movement for their advocacy of both integration and nonviolent protest.

    Sadly, many people don’t understand what beliefs Malcolm actually promoted, and what’s more, don’t realize that those beliefs ran counter to nearly everything that American people of color and their allies have fought for. He has been lumped in with other civil rights pioneers only because he was a very visible presence until his assassination by Nation of Islam members in 1965.

    I don’t mean to offend anyone by writing this, but I would hope that one of the countless other heroes of the civil rights movement be substituted for Malcom X, or even that the sentence be changed, as clever as it is, given that there have been so many other true advocates of pluralistic civil rights whose names are less well-know but who were no less important. (Also note that by the ’60s Malcolm was using Shabbaz as his last name.) Unlike Dr. King, Malcolm was an extremely divisive figure. Perhaps consider Medgar Evers, one of the first in the movement to be murdered at the hands of racists. Or even go back to the great Frederick Douglass, who arguably started it all. Thanks for listening.

    Sincerely,
    Russell Hart

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