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The Assasination of Malcolm X

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The Assassination of Malcolm X
Kirston Gardner
University of Phoenix

Carole Lormand
September 10, 2013

The Assassination of Malcolm X
On February 21, 1965, I was among the 400 Negroes that gathered in the Audubon Ballroom at 166th Street and Broadway in Harlem to attend a regular Sunday affair of Malcolm’s Organization of Afro-American Unity. Being that Malcolm’s movement emphasized self-defense, there was no search of anyone at the rally. The rally had been scheduled for 2:30pm. It was to be held in the second-floor hall of the two-story building. I arrived early in hopes that Malcolm would name the men who fire bombed his home last Sunday. There were 400 wooden folding chairs set up with two aisles going down the side but no center aisle. There was a restful country scene mural at the back of the stage.
I sat in the 12th row and waited with anticipation. The speaker that spoke prior to Malcolm X stated that: “Malcolm X is a man who would give his life for you.” As Malcolm stepped up to the flimsy plywood lectern he gave the traditional Arabic greeting, “Salaam Aleikum,” which meant peace be unto you. We responded, “Aleikum Salaam.” Malcolm proceeded to say, “Brothers and sisters…” then he was interrupted.
About four rows up was a disturbance. Two men jumped to their feet, one yelling at the other: “Get your hands off my pockets, do not be messing with my pockets.” Malcolm’s bodyguards hurriedly moved toward the pair. I then heard Malcolm say, Now, now brothers break it up, be cool.” Right after the first diversion came a second one. There was a sock, soaked in lighter fluid and set a fire that was flared in the rear of the ballroom. As I swiveled my head, I noticed a dark man with a sawed-off shotgun wrapped in his coat. A double barreled charge ripped through the lectern and into Malcolm’s...

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