I had the extreme privilege and pleasure of viewing the ‘lost’ chapter of The Autobiography of Malcolm X Manuscript on display now at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. May I say that being able to see the actual typed and handwritten text and notes of Malcolm, infused me with a sense of purpose, urgency, determination and empowerment. I urge all to get to the exhibit while its on display at The Schomburg, from now until Nov. 10th, 2018.
The Schomburg Center announced the acquisition of the Malcolm X Manuscripts July 27th. It had been previously held by a private collector who had acquired them at a sale of Alex Haley’s estate in 1992. Over 16 linear feet of additional pages, the acquisition is a critical addition to the Malcolm X manuscript material already available at the Schomburg Center, which includes a diary, letters, speeches, journals, and photographs.
“The Western World is sick,” the chapter begins. “The American society – with the song of Christianity providing the white man with the illusion that what he has done to the Black man is ‘right’ – is as sick as Babylon. And the Black man here in the wilderness, the so-called ‘Negro’ is sickest of them all.”
- A full 241-page manuscript of The Autobiography of Malcolm X with handwritten notes and corrections and from both Malcolm X and famed Roots co-author Alex Haley.Within the document, readers can see where creative ideas clashed as Haley urged X to calm his criticisms of white America.
- A previously unpublished chapter from the book, believed to be omitted from publication after Malcolm X’s assassination. The 25-page typewritten chapter – titled “The Negro” – is thought to be one of three unpublished chapters in existence. It is as yet unclear why the chapters were removed.”
- A series of literal and literary “fragments,” or short notes and drafts by Malcolm X written or typed on small pieces of paper.
“These materials are extremely significant, as they can provide researchers with extensive new insights into the writing process and thoughts of one of the most important and influential figures and books of the 20th Century,” said Schomburg Center Director Kevin Young. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a monumental work; to actually see how that book took shape through Malcolm X’s handwritten corrections and notes is very powerful. Additionally, the omitted chapter, believed to be removed after Malcolm X’s death, places the work in a new context, and provide an understanding as to why it was excluded from the book in the first place. The possibilities for new revelations are nearly endless, and we are so proud that the Schomburg Center can bring this material to light for the first time.” – Kevin Young, Schomburg Center Director on the acquisition.
TheSchomburgCenterforResearch in Harlem, New York, City, NY., is a treasure, and an institution that all should take more advantage of.
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