“THE LOST TAPES OF MALCOLM X”

March 03, 2018 at 5:00 am

The Smithsonian Channel and Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, take us inside the extraordinary life and murder of the civil rights activist.

Aired on March 2, 2018. 

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>>> KNOWN FOR HIS FIERY
RHETORIC, AND UNCOMPROMISING
TRUTH TO POWER STANCE, MALCOLM X
WAS A 1960s CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER
WHO BECAME A FRIEND TO SOME AND
AN ENEMY TO OTHERS FOR HIS STAND
ON BLACK NATIONALISM BY ANY
MEANS NECESSARY.
NOW IN THE FILM "THE LOST TAPES"
THE FILM EXAMINES THE LAST
YEARS, INCLUDING RECORDINGS MADE
INSIDE THE DAY OF HIS
ASSASSINATION.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK.
>> LET'S REMEMBER THAT WE'RE NOT
BRUTALIZED BECAUSE WE'RE
BAPTIST, WE'RE NOT BRUTALIZED
BECAUSE WE'RE METHOD DIS, WE'RE
NOT BRUTALIZED BECAUSE WE'RE
CATHOLIC, WE'RE BRUTALIZED
BECAUSE WE'RE BLACK PEOPLE IN
AMERICA.
GO WHERE THE UNCLE TOMS ARE AND
YOU'LL FIND A HOUSE ME GROW, GO
WHERE THE NEGRO LIVES IN A HOUSE
AND YOU'LL FIND A HOUSE NEGRO.
AND IF THAT EMPIRE MUSLIM
PROPAGANDA, BEFORE IT WAS
DIVIDING MOHAMMAD CONSTITUTIONS
THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGIOUS
GROUP IN THE ENTIRE WESTERN
HEMISPHERE.
DON'T YOU WILL FOOLED BY
KENNEDY, DON'T YOU BE FOOLED BY
THESE UNCLE TOM NEGRO TEACHERS,
WHEN THEY TEACH YOU, YOU GET
THAT TWO LEGGED DOG OR A FOUR
LEGGED DOG.
>> DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF
MILITANT?
>> I CONSIDER MYSELF MALCOLM.
>> THE FILM WILL BE BROADCAST
THIS FRIDAY ON MARCH 2 AT 7:00
P.M.
MALCOLM X'S DAUGHTER IS HERE
WITH ME.
ALEAH, YOU WERE ONLY 2 YEARS OLD
WHEN YOUR FATHER WAS
ASSAS
ASSASSINATED.
BUT OBVIOUSLY YOU WERE TOO YOUNG
TO HAVE DIRECT MEMORIES OF YOUR
FATHER, I GUESS YOU DEPENDED ON
YOUR MOTHER TO KEEP HIS MEMORY
ALIVE, TO KEEP HIM REAL FOR YOU,
HOW HAS THAT BEEN FOR YOU?
>> I THINK IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT
FOR MY MOTHER, SHE WANTED US TO
GROW UP KNOWING THAT OUR FATHER
LOVED US, HE DIDN'T LEIAVE US, E
DIDN'T ABANDON US.
SHE KEPT HIM ALIVE SO WE KNEW
HIS HUMANNESS, HIS LOVE AND
COMPASSION.
IF WE DID GOOD THINGS, SHE WOULD
SAY, OH, DADDY WOULD BE PROUD.
AND IF WE DID SOMETHING THAT WAS
NOT SO GREAT, SHE LET US KNOW
YOUR FATHER WOULD NOT APPROVE.
I JUST TAKE OFF MY HAT TO HER
BECAUSE SHE DID A PHENOMENAL JOB
SAFEGUARDING HER HUSBAND'S
LEGACY, AND OF MAKING SURE THAT
IT WOULD NOT BE MISAPPROPRIATED
IN HISTORY.
>> BUT IT WAS, YOU KNOW, AND YOU
HAVE SAID THAT IT WAS.
YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOUR FATHER'S
CHARACTER AND WORK HAS BEEN LONG
INACCURATELY PORTRAYED BY SOME
AND HIS SPEECHES AND IMAGE HAVE
BEEN MISAPPROPRIATED.
WHAT'S THE FALSE IMPRESSION THAT
WE HAVE OF YOUR FATHER AND WHO'S
RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT FALSE
IMPR
IMPRESSION?
>> MY MOTHER, YOU KNOW, THANK
GOD FOR US, SHE MADE SURE WE
UNDERSTOOD WHO OUR FATHER WAS.
SO MUCH SO THAT NOW THAT I'M A
GROWN ADULT, OLDER THAN THE BOTH
OF THEM WHEN MY FATHER WAS
GUNNED DOWN AT 39, I'M VERY
CLEAR ON WHO HE WAS AND WHAT HIS
WORK WAS GEARED TOWARDS.
AND THAT WAS, YOU KNOW, LOOKING
AT THE SOCIAL CLIMATE THAT E
EXISTED, LET'S NOT PUT MALCOLM
WITH THE INJUSTICESAR AROUND HI.
MALCOLM WAS NOT A PERSON WALKING
AROUND ANGRY, HE WAS FULL OF
LOVE, FULL OF COMPASSION AND
USUALLY HIS REACTIONS TO THE
CHURCH BOMBINGS, THE LYNCHINGS,
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA THAT
FELLOW AMERICANS ENDURED
GENERATIONS UPON GENERATIONS.
>> I THINK THE MISINTERPRETATION
BY A LOT OF PEOPLE IS THAT HE
WAS A HATER AND MILITANTLY
ANGRY, WANTED TO BRING IT ALL
DOWN, AND AS YOU SEE IN THE
FILM, AND IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING
ABOUT IT, IT REALLY COMES ACROSS
IN THE FILM, BECAUSE IT'S ONLY
HIS WORDS MOSTLY THAT HE WAS A
HUMOROUS, KIND, GENTLE AND
POLITE MAN, RIGHT?
>> AND EVEN AT THE BEGINNING OF
THE FILM, THERE'S A PART WHERE
THE INTRODUCTION OF THE NATION
OF ISLAM IS IN THE LATE 1950s
AND EARLY '60s, THAT YOUNG
MUSLIMS WERE TAUGHT TO HATE
WHITES, AND THAT'S NOT TRUE,
THEY WERE TAUGHT TO LOVE
THEMSELVES.
SO MY FATHER HAD A PROFOUND
REACTION TO THAT, AND HAD WE
ADDRESSED THOSE ISSUES 50 YEARS
AGO WHEN HE PUT EVERYTHING ON
THE PLATE, ON THE TABLE, WE
WOULD NOT BE WHERE WE ARE TODAY.
>> YOU KNOW, I THINK THE FILM
MAKES VERY CLEAR THAT YOUR
FATHER WAS A BRILLIANT
CHARISMATIC, CARING AND
THOUGHTFUL MAN AS HE WAS, WITH A
REAL CAPACITY TO CHANGE, TO
EVOLVE PHILOSOPHICALLY AND WE'LL
TELL YOU THAT IN A MOMENT.
BUT WHAT IT REALLY MAKES CLEAR,
IS THAT HE WAS UNBELIEVABLY
BRAVE, FEARLESS.
WHAT MADE HIM SO FEARLESS.
>> AGAIN, BEING A DEVOUT MUSLIM,
BEING A RELIGIOUS PERSON,
BELIEVING IN GOD, HAVING A VALUE
SYSTEM, AND SUCH COMPASSION FOR
HUMANITY AND FAITH AND BELIEVING
THAT HE REWE REALLY CAN GET ALO.
>> IT I THINK A LOT OF OUR
VIEWERS KNOW THAT THE NATION OF
ISLAM TRANSFORMED YOUR FATHER TO
WHAT HE WAS, A PIMP AND A
HUSTLER, THE MAN THAT HE BECAME,
THE NATION OF ISLAM BROKE WITH
HIM.
GIVE US A SUMMARY OF WHY THAT
HAPPENED.
>> MY FATHER WASN'T ORIGINALLY A
PIMP AND A HUSTLER.
HE WAS ORIGINALLY A SON, HIS
FATHER WAS THE -- DURING THE
HEIGHT OF JIM CROW AND GREAT
AGGRES
DEPRESSION ERA AND HIS MOTHER
WAS IS THE RECORDER FOR THE
NATIONAL SECRETARY.
>> HE WANTED TO BE A LAWYER AND
HIS FATHER SAID YOU CAN'T BE A
LAWYER.
>> SO HIS FATHER WAS PUT IN JAIL
AND THE FAMILY WAS TORN APART.
SO MY FATHER, OBVIOUSLY,
SYMBOLIC FOR MANY YOUNG PEOPLE,
WHICH SYSTEMICALLY SAYS, YOU
CAN'T ASPIRE TO BE MUCH, RIGHT?
SO, YOU KNOW, IT SPEAKS TO THE
IMPORTANCE OF THE ADULTS AROUND
THEM.
OUR CHILDREN ARE IN PAIN.
YOU KNOW, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE
INEQUITIES, WE LOOK AT THE
INJUSTICES.
LET'S HELP THEM.
IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY AS THE
GROWN, FORWARD THINKING C ING
CIVILIZED ADULTS TO DO SO.
MY FATHER, AND I THINK BY
SOCIETY SAYS, THIS IS WHAT YOU
ARE AS A YOUNG BLACK, THE WORDS
THAT WAS TOLD HIM AND HE WENT
OFF THE WRONG PATH AND
FORTUNATELY FOUND HIMSELF AND
WAS ABLE TO RESORT BACK TO THE
FOUNDATION THAT HIS PARENTS
INSTILLED IN HIM.
>> THE NATION OF ISLAM HELPED
HIM DO THAT, BUT THEN THERE WAS
A DEADLY BREAK, I MEAN THEY
ULTIMATELY KILLED HIM.
QUICKLY WHAT WAS THAT RIFT?
>> OKAY, SO WHEN WE LOOK AT A
VALUE SYSTEM, AND WE SEE
MALCOLM'S VALUE SYSTEM, HE WAS
BY THE BOOK, HE WAS VERY
DISCIPLINED AND WHEN HE FOUND
OUT THAT HERE'S THIS MAN THAT
HE'S FOLLOWING THAT HE'S TOLD IS
THE PROPHET MOHAMMAD ONLY TO
FIND THAT HE'S NOT THE PROPHET
MOHAMMAD, BUT THAT THE PROPHET
MOHAMMAD EXISTED IN THE YEAR
1600.
AND THAT HE HAD OUTSIDE
RELATIONS, IT DEVASTATED MY
FATHER.
>> WE SHOULD SAY THAT HE
DISCOVERED TO HIS HORROR THAT
ELIJAH MOHAMMAD WAS HAVING
CHILDREN WITH TEENAGED
SUPPORTERS OF HIS?
>> RIGHT, THAT HE WAS HAVING
CHILDREN WITH MEMBERS IN THE
ORGANIZATION.
>> YES.
>> AND, YOU KNOW, YOUNG MEMBERS
AND, YOU KNOW, YES MY FATHER WAS
DEVASTATED BY THAT.
>> SO YOUR FATHER, YOU KNOW,
CHANGED.
HE EVOLVED AT ONE POINT, YOU
KNOW, EARLY IN HIS CAREER, WE
SAW SOME OF HIS SPEECHES, HE WAS
CONTEMPTUOUS OF THE PEACEFUL
WING, THE NONVIOLENT WING OF THE
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, BUT THEN
PUBLICLY HE SAID, YOU KNOW, I
HAVE SAID SOME HARSH THINGS
ABOUT SOME PEOPLE, I WANT TO
RECONCILE WITH THEM, THEY SAID
HARSH WORDS ABOUT ME, WE SHOULD
WORK TOGETHER, WE SHOULDN'T
FIGHT AND HE BECAME A DIFFERENT
MAN.
WHAT BROUGHT THE TURN ABOUT?
>> I DON'T THINK HE BECAME A
DIFFERENT MAN.
HE HAD 12 YEARS TO LIVE HIS LIFE
AND EVOLVE AND LEARN AND HE DID
THAT IN THE PUBLIC EYE.
AND SO I THINK AGAIN, HE WAS
NEVER A VIOLENT PERSON.
HE HAD A PROFOUND REACTION TO
THE INJUSTICES AND WE CAN'T
FORGET THE LYNCHING.
WE CAN'T FORGET ALL OF THESE
INJUSTICES THAT WE SEE, THE
DOGS, THE FIRE HOSES, UNEQUAL
EDUCATION, HOUSING, HEALTH, ALL
OF THESE THINGS.
AND SO MY FATHER MATURED, RIGHT,
BUT HE WAS ALWAYS COMPASSIONATE,
HE WAS ALWAYS A LEADER, HE WAS
ALWAYS VERY WELL READ, SO THAT
HE COULD EDUCATE THE MASSES ON
THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE BEEN
MISEDUCATED ON.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING
US TODAY, IT'S A WONDERFUL FILM
AND I HOPE A LOT OF PEOPLE SEE
IT.
>> THANK YOU.
>> THE FILM AIRS ON THE
SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL, PLEASE
CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR
ADDITIONAL AIR TIMES.
>> FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS
PROVIDED BY --