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The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X

Portrait of human rights activist Malcolm X reading stories about himself in a pile of newspapers, circa 1963.
Portrait of human rights activist Malcolm X reading stories about himself in a pile of newspapers, circa 1963.

“History is best qualified to reward all research, and we don’t have any historic example where we have found that [white people] have, collectively, as a people, done good.”

“The Hate That Hate Produced” was a documentary that first aired on New York’s WNTA-TV in 1959. In its introduction, narrator and producer Mike Wallace speaks of a new separatist group called the Nation of Islam, made up of African-American Muslims who tout Black Nationalism.

“We have to go to the root, we have to go to the cause. Dealing with the condition itself is not enough and it is because of our effort toward getting straight to the root that people ofttimes think we are dealing in hate.”

The broadcast also featured the mainstream debut of Malcolm X, then the spokesman for the Nation of Islam. His words — including referring to white people as collectively evil — shocked the nation and left a powerful imprint on the Civil Rights Movement’s largely peaceful, non-violent efforts to work together with whites on integrating America’s public spaces and institutions.

“What’s good news for the sheep might be bad news for the wolf.”

The film made a star of Malcolm X, albeit a controversial one, and its rare footage is now part of a new documentary from the Smithsonian Channel called “ The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X” that anthologizes moments from the activist’s life without commentary, interpretation or analysis.

“Don’t you be fooled by Kennedy. Don’t you be fooled by these Uncle Tom, Negro preachers. When the dog attacks you, you get that two-legged dog or four-legged dog.”

We listen back to the words of Malcolm X and apply them to the continued fight for racial justice.


Tom Jennings, Producer, The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X

Herb Boyd, Journalist; author, “Black Detroit”

Marcus Hunter, African American studies chair, University of California, Los Angeles; co-author, Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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