Black History

* Malcolm X



  Elke Moritz  

Books On Malcolm X

Over the years, I have read and collected quite a few books on Malcolm. Useful places to search for books have been the libraries of universities and online bookstores. For more detailed information on where to start your search please take a look at the Malcolm X FAQ.

If you need more detailled information on the books, please e-mail me.

Currently on order are:

  • Decaro, L. - On The Side Of My People: A Religious Life Of Malcolm X
    ISBN 0814718914
  • Betty Shabazz - A Tribute In Words And Pictures
    ISBN 0684852942
  • Strickland, William - Malcolm X - Make It Plain
    ISBN 0140177132
  • Perry, Theresa (ed.) - Teaching Malcolm X
    ISBN 0415911559

My collection of books on Malcolm X:

Baldwin, James - Sie nannten ihn Malcolm X - Ein Drehbuch
RoRoRo, Reinbeck bei Hamburg, 1974
"One Day, When I Was Lost", 1972
ISBN 3-499-11750-9
137pages, German edition
If you have seen Spike Leeīs movie "Malcolm X", then you will find many parallels to Jimmy Baldwinīs screenplay on Malcolm, although Baldwin isnīt mentioned in the liner notes of Leeīs movie. I personally enjoyed this book, although you should have read the autobiography, since Baldwin changes a few names and creates a few new characters out of several existing people. But if you need to show a friend of yours something about Malcolm, this book is a short and easy to read introduction.
DM 3,80

Breitman, George, Porter, H., Smith, B. - The Assassination of Malcolm X
Pathfinder, New York, 3rd edition, 2nd printing 1992 (1976)
ISBN 0-87348-632-3
196 pages, a few b/w photos, index, contains
Introduction by Steve Clark
Dates, Events, and Questions
1) Malcolm X - The Man and his ideas (George Breitman (GB), 1965)
2) Unanswered Questions (GB, 1965)
3) The Trial (Herman Porter, 1966)
4) Myths about Malcolm X (GB, 1967)
5) More Than One Way "To Kill A Black Man" (GB, 1968)
review of Louis Lomaxī book
6) A Liberal Supports The Government Version (GB, 1973)
7) FBI Plot Against Black Movement (Baxter Smith, 1974)
Appendix: FBI Memos.
Recommended, since the book gives an insight on what happened after the assassination, especially the trial.
If you think of reading Lomaxī "To Kill A Black Man", check out this book, too.
$ ??? (DM 27,30)

Carson, Clayborne - Malcolm X - The FBI Files
One World/Ballantine Books/Random House, New York, 1991
ISBN 0-345-40009-7
434pages, introduction by Spike Lee, edited by David Gallen
8 pages of b/w photos
Divided into 3 parts: "Malcolm and the American state" (p.1-35), "Chronology" (p.35-63) and "The FBI File" (p. 63-425). With index. I didnīt have time yet to read this one thorougly, although I did browse a little through the book. Itīs interesting that the FBI agents gave Malcolm a middle initial: "Malcolm K. Little". I have never encountered this K. before and everyone I asked didnīt know what it meant! Seems as if this is a little indication that you should be careful in believing everything the agents wrote down. The Bureau also deleted lots of stuff from the files, and this makes reading some of the reports quite difficult. I do recommend this book, if you want to get an insight on how the FBI worked especially in connection with the Nation of Islam and Malcolm.

Clarke, John Henrik - Malcolm X - The Man And His Times
Collier Books, New York, 1969
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 77-75902
No ISBN found
360 pages, with retrospectives on Malcolm, personal views (including one essay by Betty Shabazz!), dialogues with Malcolm, reports on Malcolm abroad, and Malcolm in his own words, incl. outline for petition to the U.N. essays by C. Eric Lincoln, W. Keorapetse Kgositsile, Wyatt T. Walker, Gordon Parks, Ossie Davis, Betty Shabazz, E.U. Essien-Udom a.o. incl. speeches (a.o.) "Definition of a revolution", "Godīs judgement of white America" and "Racism: The Cancer That Is Destroying America" I really recommend this book, although it might be hard to find
$ 9,95 ???

Cone, James, H. - Martin & Malcolm & America - A Dream Or A Nightmare
Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY, 6th printing 1996 (1991)
ISBN 0-88344-824-6
incl 14 pages of b/w photos, including some very good ones of Malcolm. Including the famous photo of Martin & Malcolm. Probably the book that influenced me most while writing my essay "Two Roads To Freedom". I like Coneīs style, I have even two of his books on black theology, and was, in fact, introduced to his work by one of my religion teachers. He includes lots of notes where he mentions the sources of the quotes he uses, and gives a more profound and, in my opinion, much more believable account of Martin & Malcolm than Lomax does in his "To Kill A Black Man". Highly recommended. If you need one book on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, this is the one to check out.
$ ??? (see www.books.com)

Dyson, Michael Eric - Making Malcolm
The Myth & Meaning Of Malcolm X
Oxford University Press, NY, 1996 (1995)
ISBN 0-19-510285-1
incl. long preface, notes and index, no pictures
Divided into two parts:
I. Malcolm X's Intellectual Legacy
contains one large chapter "X Marks The Spot: A Critical Reading of Malcolm's Readers".
II. Malcolm X In Contemporary Society
splits into four subsections:
"Malcolm X and the Resurgence Of Black Nationalism", "In Malcolm's Shadow: Masculinity and the Ghetto in Black Film", "Spike's Malcolm", "Using Malcolm: Heroism, Collective Memory, and the Crisis of the Black Males"
So not a book about Malcolm but about us and how he influenced us or how we changed and used his image. Probably more useful for readers who try to thoroughly analyze Malcolm and the myths sorrounding him than for beginners.
This one's also a recent addition to my collection, so more comments will follow.

Evanzz, Karl - The Judas Factor. The Plot To Kill Malcolm X
Thunder's Mouth Press, New York, 1992
ISBN 1-56025-066-6
389 pages, 16 pages of b/w photos, notes, bibliography, index
Seems to be very controversial, referring very often to the CIA, FBI and Cointelpro. Since I was born in 1974, I don't know much about that section in US politics. I just recently purchased this book, so I will need some time to read it and to write a complete review.

Friedly, Michael - Malcolm X - The Assassination
One World/Ballantine Books, New York, 1995 (1992)
ISBN 0-345-40010-0
294 pages
incl. 8 pages of b/w photos, appendix, notes, bibliography and index
This is a very recent addition to my collection, therefore I haven't read the book yet.

David Gallen - Malcolm X - As They Knew Him
Carroll & Graf, NY, 1992
ISBN 0-88184-850-6
8 pages of b/w photos, index and a chronology are included
Consists of three major parts:
I. As They Knew Him. Oral Remembrances of Malcolm X by David Gallen and Peter Skutches. A wonderful, 100page long chapter. Did you know Malcolm really liked Banana-split?
II. Getting It On The Record. Conversations With Malcolm X. Seven interviews and conversations with Malcolm X, including the famous Playboy interview.
III. The Man, The Myth And The Mission. Reflections On Malcolm X. Six essays by Eldridge Cleaver, Robert Penn Warren, Peter Goldman, Alex Haley, Maria Laurino and James Baldwin.
A very good and interesting book, although I'm still stuck in the second part, but hope to finish reading this book soon.

Karim, Benjamin, with Skutches, Peter and Gallen, David - Remebering Malcolm
One World/Ballantine Books, New York, 1996 (1992)
ISBN 0-345-30051-8
214 pages
incl. 8 pages of b/w photos, index
Written by Benjamin Karim, a close friend and assistant minister of Malcolm X. Also, Karim's autobiography, and contains a short chapter on 1975, when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad died. Brand new on my bookshelf, so more comments later.

Lee, Spike, Wiley, Ralph - Malcolm X - Der Film und die Legende
Bastei Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach, 1993
("By any means necessary - The trials and tribulations of the making of Malcolm X...", 1992)
ISBN 3-404-13489-3
380 pages, German edition, incl 16 pages of b/w pictures from the movie
Consists of five chapters:
"Die Entstehung" , "Das Projekt", "Die Dreharbeiten", "Nachproduktion", "Offenbarungen", "Das Drehbuch"
my translation: "evolution - how it all began", "the project, 1991" "on the set", "post-production", "Revelations", "the script" (by James Baldwin, Arnold Perl and Spike Lee)
DM 12,80

Lomax, Louis E. - To Kill A Black Man
Holloway House, Los Angeles, 1987 (1968)
ISBN 0-87067-731-4
In this very controversial book, Lomax compares Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolmīs lifes and deaths and makes a few remarks and speculations which I still ainīt sure if I shall believe them. Sometimes it seems as if he either didnīt research well enough or he just wanted to make a popular book. He raises many questions, e.g. how Malcolm got the money for his travels in 1964, and always points his finger to the CIA saying they might have been involved in his killing etc., but a lot of questions remain unanswered. Beware if this book is your only source of information, but if you have read at least a few on Malcolm than his book might give you a few things to think about...
$ 3.25 (DM 14,12)

Lomax, Louis E. - When The Word Is Given
- A Report On Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X And The Black Muslim World
Signet Books, New York, 1964 (1963)
192 pages, 8 pages of b/w pictures
Consists of two parts ("The Coming Of The Prophet" and "The Prophetīs Voice") and an interview of Lomax with Malcolm X.
Part two is a collection of speeches, including Malcolmīs speech at Harvard (1960), at the "Unity Rally" in Harlem (spring 1960), "University Speech" (1961/1962), a speech at Queens College and one at Yale. I havenīt had time to read the first part yet. Please take note that this book was finished before Malcolm split with the Nation Of Islam.

Malcolm X - By Any Means Necessary. Speeches, Interviews and a letter by Malcolm X
Pathfinder, New York, 1st edition, 15th printing 1991 (1970)
ISBN 0-87348-150-X
184 pages, maximum of 5 b/w photos, annotated directory, but no index, which makes finding certain parts in the speeches quite difficult.
Probably one of the most famous books by Malcolm (since itīs titled after the famous quote!) Foreword by George Breitman. In this volume, most speeches concentrate on the OAAU and Malcolmīs travels. Together with "Malcolm X Speaks" the most important book of speeches.
All speeches held between March 19, 1964 and Feb. 9, 1965:
1) "An Interview by A.B. Spellman" (NY, March 19, 1964)
2) "Answers To Questions At The Militant Labor Forum" (NY, April 8, 1964)
3) "The Founding Rally Of The OAAU" (NY, June 28, 1964)
4) "Harlem And The Political Machines" (NY, July 4, 1964)
5) "The Second Rally Of the OAAU" (NY, July 5, 1964)
6) "A Letter From Cairo" (Cairo, Aug.29, 1964)
7) "At A Meeting in Paris" (Paris, Nov. 23, 1964)
8) "An Exchange On Casualties in the Congo" (NY, Nov 28, 1964)
9) "The Homecoming Rally of the OAAU" (NY, Nov. 29, 1964)
10) "The Young Socialist Interview" (NY, Jan. 18, 1965)
11) "On Being Barred From France" (London, Feb.9, 1965)
12) "Short Statements" (1964-1965)
$ 13.95

Malcolm X, Haley, Alex - Līautobiographie De Malcolm X
Pocket, France, 1993 (1964, 1965)
ISBN 2-266-05633-6
330pages, including notes by Alex Haley, M.S. Handler and Ossie Davis
Yes, I am that crazy! I really bought the french edition! I hoped that by reading a text I really like, I could improve my nearly non-existing french skills. I havenīt read a lot in this edition though ;-)
F ???

Malcolm X - Schwarze Gewalt - Reden
Schneider, Michael - Revolution der Sprache, Sprache der Revolution
Voltaire Handbuch 1, Edition Voltaire, Frankfurt/Main. 1968
196 pages. German.
Got this one from a flea market, but I guess that after the 10,000 books of this edition, no more were printed. The second chapter, Malcolm X -"Schwarze Gewalt" (Black Power) is a translation of his speeches from "Malcolm X Speaks" although a few were left out (Number 2,5,6,7,11,12,15). Interesting, which speeches were included and which not. Iīm not sure, but it looks like this book was printed by a left-wing organisation.
DM ???

Malcolm X - Malcolm X Speaks
Pathfinder, New York, 2nd printing 1992 (1989, 1965)
ISBN 0-87348-546-7
233pages, hardcover edition, incl. 8 pages of b/w photos
14 speeches and statements.
Edited by George Breitman
all speeches between Nov. 10, 1963 and February 18, 1965 including
1) "Message to the Grassroots" (Detroit, Nov. 10, 1963),
2) "A Declaration of Independence" (N.Y., March 12, 1964),
3) "The Ballot or the Bullet" (Cleveland, April 3, 1964),
4) "The Black Revolution" (N.Y., April 8, 1964)
5) "Letters From Abroad"(April-May, 1964)
6) "The Harlem "Hate-Gang" Scare" (N.Y., May 29, 1964)
7) "Appeal To African Heads Of State" (Cairo, Egypt, July 17, 1964)
8) "At The Audubon" (N.Y., Dec. 13, 1964)
9) "With Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer" (N.Y., Dec. 20, 1964)
10) "At the Audubon" (N.Y., Dec. 20, 1964)
11) "To Mississippi Youth" (N.Y., Dec. 31, 1964)
12) "Prospects For Freedom In 1965" (N.Y., Jan.7, 1965)
13) "After The Bombing" (Detroit, Feb.14, 1965)
14) "Confrontation with an "Expert"" (N.Y., Feb. 18, 1965)
15) Last answers and interviews
All speeches with a short introduction by George Breitman.
Including an index and an annotated directory. Highly recommended.
$ 16.95 (I paid more than DM 41 for this book!)

Malcolm X - Malcolm X on Afro-American History
Pathfinder, New York, 3rd edition, 2nd printing 1991 (1967,1970, 1990)
ISBN 0-87348-592-0
93 pages
Preface by Steve Clark
Includes the speech "Malcolm X on Afro-American History" (Jan. 24, 1965), selections from his autobiography ("how Malcolm X studied Afro-American History" and excerpts from other speeches. Also included are a few b/w photos of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, the interior of a slave ship, African art and two maps of West Africa (11th century and 1332).
Good book and selection, but reconsider buying this one if you have collections of other speeches by Malcolm.
Ģ4.95 (DM 15)

Malcolm X, Haley, Alex - The Autobiography Of Malcolm X
Penguin, London, 1968 (1945, 1965)
ISBN 0-14-00-2824-2
512pages, including the long foreword by Alex Haley, good index
My favorite book. It should be easier to get this edition in Europe than to get the American edition. If you want to read something on Malcolm, start with his autobiography.

Malcolm X - Malcolm X - The Great Photographs
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York, 1993
ISBN 1-55670-317-1 (paperback)
Text by Thulani Davis, Photographs researched and edited by Howard Chapnick
The best collection of photographs of Malcolm! Although quite a few photos appear in other books mentioned in this list, this book is really worth getting. Including seven page chronology of Malcolm Xī life and work.
$ 24.95

Perry, Bruce - Malcolm - The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America
Station Hill, New York, 1991
ISBN 0-88268-103-6
544pages, hardcover, 8 pages of b/w photos & a few more.
Including photos of Malcolm as a child, Malcolm in school and teenage Malcolm, as well as Malcolmīs fingerprints from the Detroit police record With 59 chapters, lots of quotes and about 125 pages of annotations, this book calls itself "The First Complete Biography of Malcolm X".
There are some views of the author I do not share or which I donīt believe, e.g. the suicide of Malcolmīs father and the stories about Malcolmīs girl friends. The author really has made a lot of interviews, but of Malcolmīs closest family, he has only interviewed Attalah, although he interviewed many members of the Little family.
Considering that itīs nearly as thick as the autobiography, and that I prefer autobiographies to biographies, I would rather recommend reading the autobiography first. Then go for Malcolmīs speeches, then for James H. Coneīs book, and then you should read Bruce Perryīs biography.
Donīt get me wrong, I like the book, itīs worth all the money I spent, but there are a few things I disagree with.

Randall, Dudley, and Burroughs, Margaret G. - For Malcolm. Poems on the life and the death of Malcolm X
Broadside Press, Michigan, 2nd edition, 7th printing 1990 (1969)
ISBN 0-910296-12-X
126 pages
How long did I search for this book!
After finding many references on this book, and collecting parts of poems printed in this collection, it turned out to be very difficult to get the book itself. First, the library of "African Studies" at the University Mainz was always closed when I arrived. Then, years later at university, I ordered the book from another university library and was able to lent it for a few weeks Then, as soon as it appaered in the online catalog of www.books.com, I ordered it.
The book is divided into four parts: "For Malcolm: The Life", "The Death", "The Rage" and "The Aftermath". Included are an introduction by the two editors and the essay "Why I eulogized Malcolm X"by Ossie Davis. Photographs of the authors are also included, as well as detailed biographical notes. Authors include (among others) M. Burroughs, Margaret Danner, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mari Evans, K. William Kgositsile, Etheridge Knight, Robert Hayden, Clarence Major, James Patterson, Raymond Patterson, Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Dudley Randall and Sonia Sachez. Itīs worth alone for the pictures of the poets, and the poems are invaluable!
Some of my favorite poems include:
"For Malcolm X" byJulia Fields (p. 33ff)
"Malcolm" by Sonia Sanchez (p. 38f)
"A Poem For Black Hearts" by Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka, p. 61f)
"For Brother Malcolm" by Edward S. Spriggs (p. 73)
and my favorite:
"At that moment" by Raymond Patterson (p.69)
$ 7.00

Sales, William W., Jr. - From Civil Rights To Black Liberation
Malcolm X And The Organization Of Afro-American Unity
South End Press, Boston, 1994
ISBN 0-89608-480-9
247pages. Notes, bibliography and index included. Very few pictures.
On the political development of Malcolm X. Gives much insight into Malcolm's connections to (African) politics and his efforts in this field in 1963-1965. Includes many quotes and annotations. Haven't had time to read this one yet.
$ 14.00