Malcolm X (1992) Script

In the name of Allah, the merciful.

All praises due to Allah, Lord of all worlds.

The one God to whom praise is due forever.

The one who came to us in the person of Fard Muhammad...

...and raised up the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Amen.


- How do you feel? - Fine, sir!

- Who do we want to hear? - Malcolm X!

Are we gonna bring him on?

Yes, we gonna bring him on.

Let us hear from our minister, Mr. Malcolm X!

Let us bring him on with a round of applause.

Brothers and sisters.

I'm here to tell you that I charge the white man.

I charge the white man with being the greatest murderer on earth.

I charge the white man with being the greatest kidnapper on earth.

There's no place in this world that that man can go...

...and say he created peace and harmony. Everywhere he's gone...

...he's created havoc.

Everywhere he's gone, he's created destruction.

So I charge him with being the greatest kidnapper on this earth!

I charge him with being the greatest murderer on this earth!

I charge him with being the greatest robber and enslaver on this earth!

I charge the white man...

...with being the greatest swine-eater on this earth!

The greatest drunkard on this earth!

He can't deny the charges.

You can't deny the charges! We're the living proof of those charges!

You and I are the proof.

You're not an American. You are the victim of America!

You didn't have a choice coming here. He didn't say:

"Black man, black woman, come over and help me build America."

He said, "Nigger, get in the boat.

I'm taking you over there to help me build America."

Being born here does not make you an American.

I am not an American, you are not American.

You're one of the 22 million black people...

...who are victims of America. You and I, we've never seen democracy.

There's no democracy in the fields of Georgia. No democracy down there.

We didn't see any democracy in Harlem, Brooklyn, Detroit, Chicago.

Ain't no democracy there. We've never seen democracy.

All we've seen is hypocrisy.

We don't see any American dream.

We've experienced only the American nightmare.

We want Malcolm X! We want Malcolm X!

See that spot? Get it. The spot!

All right, that's it.

Thanks. Come on.

Hey, Cholly!

Where'd you get that number you hit on? Was it your girl's address?

No, my grandma gave me that number in my dreams. Straight!


You said Sassy Frassy gave you--

That woman quit me.

After I hit the number, that woman was no good to me at all.

What happened? She said I was cheap...

...because I wouldn't cop her a diamond ring.

And on top of that, had the indignation... Whoo. call me, of all people, Good-time Cholly...

...a cheap, black son of a bitch. Sassy Frassy?

Where's homeboy?

Hey, Little. Yeah?

Your man out here waiting on you.

There he is. Hey.

Fixing to get that first conk laid on, eh, homeboy?

Be hot like hell. Ha-ha-ha.

Don't be scared, son.

You ain't got nothing to worry about.

You in the hands of an expert.

My hair was just like yours. Look what he did for me.

Ha-ha-ha! Heckle and Jeckle...

...don't scare the man no more than he's scared already.

Get his forehead and eyebrows. Who's doing this?

You all heard that! You all heard that. Ha-ha-ha.

Pull my coat if it stings. This shit can burn a hole through cement.

Hold tight.

I thought you said this would sting, Shorty.

Ha, ha. This ain't nothing.

Feel good, don't it? Real good?

Yeah, it's all right. You'll feel better in a minute.

It is heating up a bit.

It's starting to heat up. It's all right.

Feeling better, ain't it? Ha, ha.

Just hold on. I'm holding, but it's heating.

Gotta make it straight. All right.

That's what he told me too.

I gotta get this out now. It's starting--

Uh-oh. Uh-oh!

Hold on. I'm holding, I'm holding.

Hold on. I'm holding on, man!

Give me a hand! Help me out! Hold him!

Shorty! We're going to the sink!

I got to get up! I got to get up!

Cool it! Put water on it!

More water!

You're getting it in my eye!

How's it feel? Like there's no skin on my head!

If you can talk, it's out.

How does it look? Can't tell yet.

It's straight, right? I ain't doing this again.

Let me dry it.

I can tell it's laying down.

Don't take it off yet. All right.

That's the thing to do. Come on in here and get through.

A money-maker and a heart-breaker every step of the way.

You gonna flip. That's right, watch your lip.


Looks white, don't it?

All right!

Well, all root!

All reet!


Hit the brim with the left.

Hey, girls.

Sweet thing, ha, ha.

When my mother was pregnant with me...

...a party of Klansmen surrounded our house in Omaha, Nebraska.

They brandished guns and shouted for my father to come out.

We know you're in there, come out!

My pregnant mother went to the door...

...and said that my father was in Milwaukee, preaching.

He's in Milwaukee.

These hooded men said that good white Christians...

...would not stand for his troublemaking and to get out of town.

It's all right.

They broke every window with their rifle butts...

...before riding off into the night.

They rode off into the moonlight on their horses as suddenly as they had come.

My father was not a frightened Negro, as most were and many still are today.

He was 6' 4", a very strong man.

He believed, as did Marcus Garvey...

...that freedom, independence and self-respect...

...couldn't be achieved by Negroes in America.

--the object of building up for themselves a great nation in Africa.

Therefore... men should leave America and return to their land of origin.

--to his original home, Africa.

My father dedicated his life to his beliefs...

...because four of his six brothers died violently.

Three killed by white men, and one lynched.

There were nine children in our family.

My mother was a proud woman, an educated woman, a strong woman.

She was fair-skinned because her mother was raped by a white man.

One reason she married my father was because he was so black.

She hated her complexion, the white blood in her body...

...and she wanted her children to have some color.

In fact, I think this had a profound effect on me back then and on most Negroes today.


Because so many of our sisters...

...have been raped or violated by the white man... men can't wait to get their hands on the white man's prize:

A white woman.

Africa for the Africans!

Say "Roseland." Roseland.



Hi, Shorty!

You're too big!

I'm gonna come get you. Oh, no.

Whoo! Come on, Shorty, I've gotta dance!

Oh! Yeah.


You in charge, boy!

You like what you see, baby?

No! Get back here! Go ahead, boy!

Red, save me! Save me! Gotcha! Whoo! Yeah.

Come on, Shorty. I wanna dance again!

Shorty, Shorty! Shorty.

All right, Red. Shorty, Shorty!

Whoo! Whoo!

Laura sure can go, can't she? Uh-huh.

I gotta go freshen up. All right.

You come on back now. All right, Malcolm.

Mm-mm-mm. That chick is fine as May wine.

Except she lives up on a hill and got a grandmother too.

She a church girl. I don't know what I'm gonna do.

Wanna dance?


So, what do they call you?

Uh, Red. Red?

I'm Sophia. How you doing, Sophia?

Very well, thank you.

I have an idea, Red.

Why don't you take that little girl home and come on back?

Wha--? Heh.

Just walk, baby, don't run.

It'll be here when you get back.

Well, I better not come in.

I'm not stupid. What?

It's late, baby.

I know where you're going. I am not a total square.

I know what's happening-- I gotta go home. It's late.

I gotta get up early in the morning. I gotta work tomorrow.

I'll call you tomorrow?

What for?

I'm not white and I don't put out, so why would you want to call me?

Good night, Mrs. Johnson. I'll call you tomorrow.

Mm, heh.

Am I the first white woman you've been with?

Huh? Mm?

No, you ain't. Heh.

Shit, I done had plenty.

Yeah? Yeah.

That isn't a whore?




Take your time.

Sophia's not going anywhere.

I told you to walk...

...don't run. Shh.

I don't like women that talk too much. Okay?

Heh. Okay.

Who wants to talk?

At the end of each day In a dream that's divine

My prayer Is a rapture in blue Yeah, Red! Come on, you missed me.

Eh, try this on for size.

I ducked. You ducked?

You didn't! I got you right between the toes!

I'm tired of playing the cops. I wanna be Bogart.

Shorty, you're too small to be Bogart.

I'm not too short to be Cagney.

Boom. Aah! You--!

Boom. Oh, aah!

One more! Boom!

Oh! Ha-ha-ha. Aw! Jesus.

You dirty, rotten, stinking copper!

You used to be a big shot.

There is just nothing I can do.

What do you mean, took his own life? You heard the verdict.

Verdict? A man takes a hammer and bashes in the back of his own head?

Then he lays on the tracks and kills himself?

We merely act on the verdicts, we don't make them.

Do you pay or don't you?

Read the policy, ma'am.

It clearly states....

Come here, Sophia.

You're the man.

Sit down.

What's your story?

You one of them white chicks can't get enough colored studs. Is that what you are?

Kiss my foot.

Go ahead, kiss it.

Now, feed me.



That's your story, girl.

So when you gonna holler rape, sister? Ha, me?

Yes, you. You would, if the time came.

Sure you would.

Malcolm, let me feed you.

Come on.

While they're hot.

I wish your mother and father could see you now.

And that ofay you're gonna marry.

I sure wish Laura could see us.

Please, Malcolm.

There's nobody around.

No, this ain't right.

Why? Because you--

No, it's because of the white girl, isn't it?

It's not because of that. Folks say you run around with her.

It's not because of that.

Save it for Mr. Right. Your grandmother's smarter than you think.

I'm sorry she raised me that way.

Is your mother alive?

Yes, she's alive.

When I was a kid, I was so poor I thought "not for sale"...

...was a brand name.

I did knock. Did you hear me say, "Come in"?

There's no point in fighting about it. I'm sorry.

May I sit down? You're nice enough to ask.

It's the same questions, Mrs. Little.

Since your husband's death... Murder. Murder.

...there's a question as to whether or not you are capable...

...of raising these children on your own. Oh....

These are my children.

They're mine.

And they ain't no question.

Sometimes I think, Mrs. Little, candor is the only kindness.

All your children are delinquent...

...and one at least, Malcolm, is a thief. Get out of here!

Your control over your children is therefore nonexistent.

Did you hear me?

You will regret this.

If you don't move out through that door, you'll be past regretting!

We were parceled out, all of us.

I truly believe that if ever a state agency destroyed a family... destroyed ours.

I was sent to a detention home and lived at this woman's house.

I know you'll keep it clean.

Mrs. Swerlin.

Boys, this is Malcolm, our new guest.

We'll treat him like a brother.

Reading the news--

I was special. The only colored kid in the class.

I became sort of a mascot, like a pink poodle.

I got called a nigger so much, I didn't think it was wrong.

I thought it was my name.

They talked about me like I wasn't there, like I was a pedigreed dog or a horse... I was invisible.

The important thing is to be realistic.

We all like you here, you know that.

But you're a nigger...

...and a lawyer is no realistic goal for a nigger.

But why, Mr. Ostrowski?

I gets the best grades in class.

I got voted class president. I want to be a lawyer.

I want you to think about something that you can be.

You're good with your hands, making things.

People would give you work. I would, myself.

Why don't you become a carpenter?

That's a good profession for a colored.

Wasn't your pa a carpenter?

Jesus was a carpenter.

People like you as a person. You're doing real well.

Remember what we said:

"Nothing succeeds like success." Let me hear it.

Nothing succeeds like success.

Right. As long as you're realistic.

It's not the end of the world, Malcolm.

I said, "Don't...

...let them give that boy no pig."

It wasn't the end of the world for me.

But it was the beginning of the end for my mother.

A right cross to the jaw by Louis.

Louis takes Conn's head back with a right uppercut.

Louis hits a left and a right.

And Conn is down with a right cross to the jaw!

He's taking the count.

Four, five, six... He's on his back. Eight. Nine.

He's getting up! No, the referee says it's all over!

- The referee says it's all over! Yeah!

What in hell is going on? Nothing, Mr. Cooper.

There's a lot of hungry customers. Soup done finished.

That's right, Mr. Charlie.

The name is "Mr. Cooper."

Don't you forget it.

"Mr. Cooper."

What's the matter with you? You want me to get fired!

I got a wife and six kids!

Mr. Cooper is good white folk!

You is a young fool!


There'll never be another one like that!

Ha-ha-ha! He's done it!

And by a knockout...

...and still the world's heavyweight champion:

- Joe Louis! Yeah!

Ham and cheese! Excuse me, sir.

Ham and cheese here! I got coffee.

Lemon meringue pie. Hey, boy!

Ham and cheese. Yes, sir. Best in the house.

You're pleased with yourself. I aims to please, sir.

I'm pleased to aim.

I like you, boy. Thank you.

Keep the change. Right, sir! Ham and cheese!

Ho! Ha-ha-ha.


And here's Joe Louis, back in Harlem.

They're celebrating! They're going crazy!

They're dancing and cheering! They're hanging from street signs!

Everybody's out!

Everyone's having a great time! Listen to them roar!

Joe's a credit to his race. What a fine gentleman!

But he's also a fine American.

The Brown Bomber, Joe Louis!

Hey, sugar. Huh?

Slow down, daddy. What's your hurry? No hurry.

Let me show you something brand-new, baby.

No, ha, ha. Ha-ha-ha.

I got gold watches, diamond rings.

Any one of these. Whatever you need. I don't need that.

You need something, baby. Whatever you need!

A couple of these make a player look good.


My man!

The word is "excuse me," boy. "Excuse me" don't shine my shoes.

Then you should have stayed out of my way.

Old country nigger.

Uh, heh. What you gonna do?

Go home to your mama?

Nigger, don't you ever, in your life, say anything against my mother!

Get up.

Give me a whiskey.

I ordered a single, Jack.

The double's on that gentleman, "Jack."

Who is that?

That's West Indian Archie.

What's his angle?

Some of this, some of that.

Come closer, I'm not fixing to bite you.

You look like you're new in town.

From what I can see, you're pretty handy with a bottle.

He had it coming.

Pull up a chair.

What do they call you?


And I ain't no punk.

You better not be.

Any cat toe you down here, you stand up or make tracks.

Man live by his rep. Better believe it.

So, what do you do for yourself? Working on a train. Selling.

Like that job?

Keeps me out of the Army. They want you, nothing will keep you out.

Not this boy.

So I hear tell you're a good man to know.

Where you hear that? Boston, where I'm from.

Kiss my neck.

I've never been in Beantown.

Like the man said, a man's rep travels.

How about that.

You bullshitting me?

My father told me never bullshit a West Indian.

Your daddy's West Indian? My mama.

She's from Grenada.

Grenada. Ha, ha.

I like this guy. I like you, country. Ha-ha-ha.


Where'd you get them goddamn vines you got on?

And them shoes? Oh, my.

We can do something about that.

But he's putting a hurting on my vision, man. Damn.


So how can I get ahold of you? You can't.

I get ahold of you.

All right, I'll write it down. Mm-mm.

Don't ever write anything down.

File it up here.

Like I do.

If the man don't have any paper, he will never have any proof.


Yeah. Heh.

Yeah, I dig. Right.

Look me in the face.

Did you, just now, con me?

Yes, sir.

Why? Because I want in.

It don't take a lot to know you're already there.

At least he ain't lying.

I have a run to make.

Let me make that run with you, Mr. Archie. Mm-mm.

I like your heart.

I like your style.

You might just do, Mr. Red.

Unless, of course, you have to get back to your train job.

I've told him what to do with that train.

When? Just now.

All right.

Come with me.

I'm taking you shopping.

Cadillac's the name.

Sammy, man.

You ready? Good.

Button more buttons on the jacket.

You look good. Yes, man. Ha, ha.

But you're missing something.

Frisk me. What?

Go ahead, frisk me.

Nothing, right?

I'm still carrying.

This was my first gun.

Now it's yours.

Thank you.

You wear it...

...wear it so.

Small of the back.

Now you're outfitted.

You ready to tackle the streets? Yeah, I'm ready.

Let them come.

Let us now turn to the Gospel According to St. John.

Chapter 3...

...verse 23.


"And John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim...

...because there was much water.

And they came...

...and were baptized."



It got to be 251.


I saw it in my dream.


What you know, daddy-o? I feel straight.

Mm. Your lucky day.

Roll it for me. Ha-ha-ha.

I told you, no paper, no trouble.

I'm working on it.

I keep all my numbers in my head.

I've never written a number down yet. Remember that.

Your turn.



You there? If I ain't, I'm right next door.

Nothing in this world can give you that real deep cool.

The girl.

About as mellow as I can be.

Cool enough to kill.

I realize that.

Easy, easy, easy, easy. Stick them up.

Hey, Archie.



Boo! Ha-ha-ha. Aah!

Malcolm, you're so funny.

Give me some money, baby.


Come on, baby.

The bitch move too slow.

Sometimes this guy has a big ugly mouth.

What time is it, baby?

8:21. 8:21, I like that. Combinate me.

821. Careful, Red.

128. Ha-ha-ha.


I'm taking the bet. Yeah, bet.

Time to reload. Time to reload.

Say, Red! Red, back again, huh?

I thought you said we was going to the movies last night.

You said that. I'm sorry. I say a lot of things.

I believed you. Do your job, now.

Get me a pack of Lucky Strikes and a cognac.

Daniel come in yet?

Ain't that him now?


How you been today? You been waiting long?

Let me look at you. Wow.

I've been missing you today, Laura. How you doing, baby?

I'm all right. Copacetic. Great. Did you work today?

No. You know what time I wound up last night. I didn't go to work.

I need a five-spot. I gave you 10 this morning.

Laura, give me the goddamn $5!

It ain't the money. I just wanna make sure you're okay, baby.

I gotta pay back this guy.

I'll be right back.

Like last time?

I swear, I'll be right back.

Laura, I love you.

You know that chick?

What, you a private detective now? Just asking.

Don't ask me no goddamn questions.

I ask you the questions.

You understand? Mm-hm.

She come in here a lot? Almost every night.

With him? Mm-hm.

She know he's strung out? If she got eyes, she do.

She ain't hooking, is she? Not yet, Red.

But the way things are, he'll turn her out any day now.

You stuck on her, huh?

See, that's your problem, girl. You need to mind your own goddamn business, or I'm--

Don't do that!

I wanna talk to you, all right? Have a seat. All right.

All right? All right.

Don't pay him any mind, hear? All right.

You all right? I'm all right.

You buy yourself something nice.

Hey, baby.

Give me a light.

You look uptight. What is the problem?

No problem. Sure?

Everything's all right. I'm not worrying about it.

All right.

I'm thinking about my money. Heh.

Six big ones you owe me, Archie.

What? 821. It hit, didn't it?

You didn't have 821.

Were you high? I threw the slats at you, told you to combinate me.

I'm telling you, you never had it. I tell you I did. Sophia was there.

Archie, you remember, don't you?

Wait, what you expect her to say? Ugh.

Don't do this.

All right?

All right.

All right, skip it.

But you're slipping, Archie?

You done slipped.

Archie, wait.

Come on, Archie. Look....

Come on. You want a drink or something? I'm buying.

I ain't drinking with you. Oh, Archie.

All right?

Come, Sam.

I'll be right there, man.

Twenty-two years.

Twenty-two years, I never knowed him to forget a number.

First time for everything.

What are you talking about?

The first thing he'll do is check with the collector for an oversight.

His rep is on the line. So is yours.

And, Red, if you're lying, you're a dead man.

Dead, dead, dead.

You go and tell him that.

My man, Red.

Night to you.

I don't understand Archie. You had the number.

Away from the city That hurts and mocks I'm standin' alone By the desolate docks In the still and the chill Of the night I see the horizon The great unknown Didn't I tell you never sit with your back to no door?

It's as heavy as stone You know what?

You're a damn liar.

And so is she.

So you figure to take me... bastard?

Well, I'm taking you.

So it's you and me, huh? That's right.

I'll give you back the $600.

I don't want it. I'm wearing.

There's three guns on you, so you take your chances, my friend.

Will the one I love Be coming back To me?

Let's walk. Heh.

I cover So this is how I'm going out, huh, Archie?

In a toe-down? Toe-down, yes.

Let's go. Why don't we let Billie finish first.

No. Red.

Must soon come back To me

Come here! Get him!

He's got a gun! Ugh!

For the one I love Must soon come back You better run! You're going down!

To me

Thank you.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Wake up.

Wake up! Oof.

There's somebody out there.

Wake the kids.


Follow me! Wait! Wait!

Go! Go! Aah!


Good thing we're all good Christians. It's time for you to leave this town.

It's a free country.

We warned you about Garvey preaching! Stirring up the good niggras!

I ain't a boy!

I'm a man! You're a dead nigger.

And a real man don't hide behind no bed sheets!

You take these here bullets for them sheets!

I know you're a better shot than that.

You should've killed them.

You should've shot all them crackers dead. I just wanted to scare them.

They won't be around here bothering us no more.

They won't be here no time soon.

I'm a man!

That'll teach you, nigger.

Get a doctor!

He doesn't need a doctor, he needs a preacher.

I'm glad we got you out of there.

With Archie on your ass, your name on the wire...

...Boston's the best goddamn place for you.


We'll take it easy, huh, baby?

I got a place fixed up for us on Harvard Square. How's that sound?

Sounds good. We'll lay low for a while.

Don't you worry about a thing. I'll stake you, baby.

I got my band. I'm blowing great sax. Hell, Red, you ain't even heard us play yet!

Like every hustler, I was trapped.

Cats that hung together to find security... find an answer, found nothing.

Cats that might've cured cancer.

West Indian Archie might've been a mathematical genius.

We were all victims of the American social order.

Until that time, there were three things I was always afraid of:

A job, a bust and jail.

But I realized then that I wasn't afraid of anything. I was an animal.

He don't look too good.

We're gonna rob this town blind.

Anybody want out, say so now.

Good. Okay, I set up a stake, and I got somebody to move the goods.

We need a driver. Any suggestions?

How about Rudy? Yeah, Rudy.

Who's Rudy?

I'm half-wop, half-nigger. I'm not afraid of nobody.

Yeah, right? Huh.

So, what do you do? Name it, I claim it.

Rudy does catering. Rich joints on Beacon Hill.

All right. Tell him about Baldy.

Baldy. Ha-ha-ha. Yeah. Yeah.

He's this old, rich ofay motherfucker.

I give him a bath every Friday night.

Towel him off, talcum powder on him, put him to bed.

Just like a baby. He gets his jollies off.

What about him?

Guy's got jewelry. He's got a coin collection. He's got china.

Ah. That might be all right. He's got rugs.

Shit, I know this town, man. I got my own fences.

Who is this guy, huh?

Who put you in charge?

You wanna be in charge? I am in charge.

You head nigger in charge. Ha, ha. I'm the head nigger in charge.

Big-head nigger, that's what you are.

I'll tell you what we'll do, Rudy.

Because I'm a fair man...

...and I like big-head niggers like you.

We'll flip for it.

We'll flip this.


She loves me.

She loves me not.

She loves me.

She loves me not.

Ah. She loves me.

I'll flip first.

Red, cool it. Come on.

Head man in charge, right?

Put the gun down.

All right, we believe you.

We believe you.

Red, stop clowning around, all right? For chrissakes.

Your turn, Rudy.

Quit fooling around. Come on, guys.

You don't wanna flip?

Let me show you. I'll do it again. Don't!

Rudy doesn't know how. I have to show him.

Red. Did you miss something?

You got your eyes open? Look at me, Rudy.

You don't have to do this, Red.

Red--! Ugh. That was really dumb.

Your flip, baby. You wanna do it? No, you don't, do you?

I'll help you.

Here. Red, don't.

Should we shoot that wop nose of yours off?

Or is that the nigger side? Is that the wop side or the nigger side?

Is that wop or nigger? I guess that's the wop side.

I'm not going to jail.

Put the gun away, Red. Come on, this is enough.

Say goodbye, Rudy.


I think I heard Rudy said something. What did you say, Rudy?

Speak up. Okay.

Jesus Christ! When are you gonna stop?

I did two, so I owe you two, right?

You got it.

"I got it." What did you say? You got it.

Rudy says I got it.

Rudy, don't you ever...

...try and cross someone who ain't afraid to die, you hear me?

All right.

This is what we'll do.

We'll hit old Talcum Powder tonight.

My friend Rudy here is gonna draw up the plans.

Everything that's in the house, right?

Peg, Sophia, you go out and get those tools like I asked you.

We're gonna hit tonight because some of us...

...have high visibility during the day. Ha-ha-ha.

It's okay with you, right, Rudy?

Merry Christmas, Rudy.

One big, happy family.

I love you.

Psst! Red.

What happened to the bullet? Did you palm that bullet?

What bullet?

The bullet.

Ha-ha-ha. You're crazy.



Easy, Shorty. Easy.


My man, Red.

My man!

Heh. When's Rudy due back?

Thirty minutes.

I'm almost finished.

Girls ought to be getting back from casing that rug joint.

They should be.

We've done a good job. Ha, ha.

Ha-ha-ha. We're killing them, ain't we?

They don't know what's hitting them. Yeah, ha-ha-ha-.

Let me work back in this kitchen. You getting the kitchen?

That's where the naps are, in the kitchen.

If you can't take the heat, get on out of the kitchen.

All right, let's go to the sink. Sure.

Come on, it's starting to heat up.

Burning? Yeah. It's all right.

Put your head down.

Come on, man. Huh? I turned it.

It's started to sting. Get out of the way!

It's burning? Hell, yeah, it's burning!

Goddamn it!

Hey, nigger, take your head out of the shit bowl!

That's it. Get up slowly.

Hey! Watch it! No funny business, now.

Red, the jig is up.

The average first offender gets two years for burglary.

We were all first offenders. That's what the girls drew.

Two years in the women's reformatory.

Our crime wasn't burglary.

It was sleeping with white girls. They threw the book at us.

Burglary, count one, 8 to 10 years.

Count two, 8 to 10 years.

Count three, 8 to 10 years. Ha, ha.

Count four, 8 to 10 years.

Count five, 8 to 10 years.

Count six, 8 to 10 years. Count seven, 8 to 10 years.

Count eight, 8 to 10 years.

Count nine, 8 to 10 years. Count 10, 8 to 10 years.

Count 11, 8 to 10 years. Count 12, 8 to 10 years.

Count 13, 8 to 10 years, and count 14--

Fourteen counts of 8 to 10 years.

Sentences to run concurrently.

Ha, ha. Shorty thought he'd hit us with over 100 years...

...until I explained what concurrently meant.

It meant a minimum of 10 years hard labor... the Charlestown State Prison.

The date was February 1946.

Fuck you.

Cellblock A, secure.

Close five!

Look at Satan.

I see him.

He about to bust?

He not gonna bust. He wouldn't give them the pleasure.


State your number. Little!

What? Give him a break.

He's a new fish. Okay, I'll give him a break.

Now state your number, Little.

I forgot it. State it.

I forgot it. You can read it right there, boy!

Can't you read, boy? Fuck you!

Ugh! I'll teach you a lesson!

I forgot it!

I forgot it!

I forgot it!

I forgot it. Agh!

They ain't gonna break me down.

Yeah, that's the kind of nigger I am. They ain't gonna break me down.

I'm in this situation, and I'm getting out.

Anything go wrong, I'm strong.

Time's up, Little.

Now, state your number.

Suit yourself. Ten more days.



You want a smoke?

You know what a friend you have in Jesus, son?

Heh. A friend? Huh?

He's a friend, huh, chappy? If he's such a friend, where is he? Huh?

What's he done for me?

A friend! Ha.

Tell you what you do, you tell him to call me.

Call me and tell me what kind of friend he is.

Solitary 2-2607.

What he done for me, chappy? Huh?

Where is he when I need him, huh?

You tell me that! Where is this Jesus? I'll tell you where he is.

He's out with the police captain! I'll straighten him out!

What's he done for me? He ain't done nothing for me!

Done nothing for me.

"What a friend we have in Jesus." Jesus can kiss my ass!

Tell Jesus to kiss my ass. How about that? Tell him that.



State your number, Little.

Come on, state it!




Come on.

I know how you feel.

Like you want to lay down and die.

I brought you something.

Yeah, I don't need no more favors from you.

It's nutmeg. Put it in the water.

You need something to get the monkey off your back.

It's not cocaine, but it'll help some.

Drink it slow. The stuff is strong.

So, what's your hype?

I can show you how to get out of prison. And it's no hype.

Talk, daddy-o. I'm listening.

This ain't bad. You got some more? That's the last fix I'm giving you.

So why'd you give it to me?

Because you needed it. Because you couldn't hear me without it.

Nigger, get on out of my face.

I think you got more sense than any cat in this prison.

Why the hell don't you use it?

You can't bust out of here like they do in the movies.

Even if you get out, you're still in prison.

You ain't lying there.

You'll bang against a stone wall. You're not using your brain!

That's what the white man wants.

Look at you, putting all that poison in your hair.

I think you been in prison too long, because everybody on the outside conks.

Why does everybody on the outside conk?

They don't want to walk around with a nappy head, looking like--

Looking like me?

Like a nigger?

Why not look like what you are?

What makes you ashamed of being black?

Let me tell you something. I'm not ashamed of being anything.

You better let go. I gotta wash this out.

Let it burn! Nigger, get your hands off of me!

Go on. Burn yourself. Pain yourself.

Put all that poison in your hair, in your body, trying to be white!

I don't want to hear this shit. I thought you were smart.

But you just another cat strutting down the avenue... your clown suit with all that mess on you!

Looking like a monkey!

The white man sees you and laughs because he knows you ain't white.

Man, who are you? No, the question is, who are you?

I'll tell you.

You are lost in the darkness.

But Elijah Muhammad has come to bring you into the light.

Who? Elijah Muhammad...

...can get you out of prison.

Out of the prison of your mind.

But maybe all you want is another fix.

--you get used to this life, and it puts you to sleep.

You stop thinking and acting for yourself.

If you had to scrounge 3 squares a day outside, you'd cut your throats.

So you let them feed you, give you dominoes to play with.

Let you shoot marbles, play baseball. Let's go. Cut the sermon.

He blows his whistle and you sit, you stand, you grab, gobble...

...file out...

...sleep, and sing out your number. I told you to knock it off.


...are you gonna take yard?

I'm staying.

Uh, yeah, me too.

What are you sniffing around for?

I told you, I gave you your last fix.

What's your angle, nigger? Hmm?

"Nigger"? Who's wearing the conk?

You the only cat in this prison I done seen act the way you do.

You ain't afraid of talking like that in front of guards.

What's he gonna do to me he hasn't done already?

I mean, you don't cuss none. You don't talk that "What-ya-know-daddy" jive.

A man curses because he doesn't have the words to say what's on his mind.


I know you gotta angle some kind of way.

Don't con me.

Don't con me and don't try.

Hey, just offering you a cigarette, my man. Ain't no big deal.

I read, study.

The first thing a black man must have is self-respect.

Respect his body and his mind.

Quit taking the white man's poisons into his body.

His cigarettes, his dope, his liquor, his white women, his pork.



My mama used to say don't eat no pork.

Your mama was right. That pig is a filthy beast.

Part rat, part cat and the rest is dog.

All right, pull my coat on this, now.

What happen if you give all that up?

I mean, the pork. You get sick and you get a medical or something?

Like when I was on the outside, I ran this hustle. I tried--

I'm telling you God's words, not no hustle.

And I'm gonna tell you God is black.

God is black? Everybody knows God is white.

Everything the white man taught you, you accepted.

He taught you you were a black heathen, and you believed him.

He taught you to worship a blond, blue-eyed Jesus...

...with white skin and you believed him.

He taught you that black was a curse, and you believed that.

Ever look up the word "black"? For what?

Did you ever study anything that wasn't a con?

What the hell for, man?

Come with me.

"Black: Destitute of light...

...devoid of color.

Enveloped in darkness...

...hence utterly dismal or gloomy..., 'The future looked black."" Pretty good with them words, ain't you?

"Soiled with dirt...


Sullen, hostile...

...forbidding, as, 'a black day.'

Foully or outrageously wicked..., 'black cruelty.'

Indicating disgrace, dishonor or culpability."

And there's others. "Blackmail. Blackball. Blackguard."

That's something, all right.

Let's look up "white."




The color of pure snow.

Uh, reflecting all the rays of the spectrum.

The opposite of black.


Free from spot or blemish.

Innocent. Pure."


Ain't this something? "Without evil intent.


Honest, square-dealing and honorable." Wait a minute.

This was written by white folks, right? White folks' book?

Sure ain't no black man's book. What we reading this for?

Because the truth is lying there, if you read behind the words.

You got to take everything the white man says and use it against him.


I mean, there's a whole lot of words here. Here. Let's start at the beginning.

We'll look them up, write them down and find out what they mean. Here.

Page one. The first word: "Aardvark."


Earth pig. African, ant-eating mammal.


Chinese calculating instrument.


The place of the lost in Sheol.

The bottomless pit."

If you take one step toward Allah...

...he'll take two steps toward you.

Lights out!

Lights out.

Come on, Pete!

Ha-ha-ha. Boy'll wear out a baseball.

Chuck! What's the score, my man? 10 to 1.

We're murdering them! Didn't you hear? No. What happened?

The Dodgers brought up Jackie Robinson! We're pounding them, celebrating!

Yeah, that's all right.


White man throw us a bone and we're supposed to forget...

...400 years of oppression.

Yeah, but a nigger--

A Negro in the big leagues, that's something.

I told you to go behind the words and dig out the truth.

They let us sing and dance and smile...

...and then they let one so-called Negro into the majors.

That doesn't cancel out history's greatest crime.

When that grafted, blue-eyed devil locked us in chains... hundred million of us, broke up our families...

...tortured us...

...cut us off from our language, our religion, our history.

Let me tell you about black history.

We are the original man.

The first men on earth were black. They ruled.

And there wasn't a white face anywhere.

But they teach us that we swung from trees.

That's a lie. Black men never did that.

We were a race of kings when the white man...

...crawled on all fours in Europe.

Do they know who they are?

Do you know where you came from? What's your name?

Malcolm Little. No.

That's the name of the slave masters that owned your family.

You don't even know who you are.

You're nothing. Less than nothing.

Who are you?

Look, I ain't-- Shit, heh.

All right, I ain't Malcolm Little, or Red, or Satan.

That's right. So who are you?

I don't know. We are a nation...

...the tribe of Shabazz...

...lost in this wilderness called North America.

Tribe of Shabazz.

The merciful Allah has sent us a messenger...

...a black man named Elijah Muhammad.

He reveals to us the true knowledge about ourselves.

He teaches that the true nature of the original man, the black man... righteousness.

If the black man's nature is righteousness....

Then the true nature of the white man is wickedness.

I knew you'd get it.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches that the white man is a devil.

I sure met some in my life.


Elijah Muhammad does not say that some white men are devils.

He teaches us that all white men are devils.

Have you ever known a good white man? Think back in all your life.

Have you ever met one who wasn't evil?

The body is a sacred temple... must be purified.

I will not touch the white man's poison:

His drugs...

...his liquor...

...his swine...

...his women.

A Muslim must be strikingly upright... outstanding example... that those in the darkness can see the power of the light.

I will not commit adultery or fornication.

I will not lie...

...cheat or steal.

But the key to Islam is submission.

That is why five times daily, we turn to Mecca to pray... bend our knees in submission.

I can't do that, Brother Baines.

The lost, found, must bend their knees... admit their guilt.

To implore Allah's forgiveness is the hardest thing on earth.

The hardest and the greatest.

I don't know what I would say to Allah.

Have you ever bent your knees, Malcolm?

Yes, when I was, uh...

When I was picking a lock to rob someone's house.

Tell Allah that.

You can grovel and crawl for sin but not to save your soul?

Pick the lock, Malcolm. Pick it.

I want to.

God knows I want to.

I received a letter that day from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

The dear Holy Apostle wrote to me...

...a nobody, a junkie, a pimp and a convict.

I have come to give you...

...something which can never be taken away from you.

I bring to you a sense of your own worth...

...the worth of one human being.

The knowledge of self.

It was like a blinding light.

I became aware that he was in the room with me.

He wore a dark suit, and on his face I saw a wisdom...

...and pain so old and deep that I could scarcely look at him.

But I knew I wasn't dreaming. He was there with me.

I tell you...

...the most dangerous creation in the world... any society... the man with nothing to lose.

You do not need 10 such men to change the world.

One will do.

The earth belongs to us...

...the black man.

And whatever is around it...

...or on it, or in it...

...belongs to us.

And then as suddenly as he came...

...he was gone.

And then I could do it.

We're taught that Paul...

...on the road to Damascus, heard the voice of Christ.

He was so smitten by the truth that he fell from his horse.

Now, I don't liken myself to Paul...

...but I do understand.

You see, it happened to me.

Why me?

I am back in the bosom of Islam, praise Allah.

We don't have much, but what we have is yours.

My wife and my son join me in saying that when you come out...

...which won't be long, come straight to us.


What'll it be, Little?

Take it all off.

Getting rid of that conk, huh? Yes, sir.

You write, thanking me. Ha-ha-ha.

Don't thank me, thank Allah. He did it all.

Dear Brother Baines:

Please thank the Honorable Elijah Muhammad for the money...

...and tell him I haven't written him...

...because I've not yet proven myself.

But I have shared his teachings with some old running buddies in Harlem...

...and with my main man, Shorty, who was transferred upstate.

He's gone nuts.

"Dear Brothers:

I thank you for your time and concern.

All praises due to Allah for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

I wrote the mayor, the governor and the president...

...but for some reason, I haven't heard from them."


Please tell the Honorable Elijah Muhammad...

...that I have dedicated my life to telling the white devil the truth to his face.

I greet you with the ancient words of peace, "As-Salaam-Alaikum."

P.S. I finally copied out the entire dictionary.

I think the brother is coming along.

"The thief cometh not but for to steal...

...and to kill, and to destroy.

But I am come...

...that they might have life...

...and that they might have it more abundantly."

Saint John 10, verse 10. Are there any questions?

Watch it, baby. This cat is heavy on religion.

I see this has become a struggle between good and evil.

"Satan" has a question.

Yes, sir. But since neither of us are God...

...neither of us can say who's good and who's evil.

Just ask your question.

We were discussing the Disciples. What color were they?

Well, I don't think...

...we know for certain.

But they were Hebrews? That's right.

As was Jesus. Jesus was also a Hebrew.

Just ask your question.

What color were the Hebrews?

I have told you that we don't know that for certain.

Then you can't believe for certain that Jesus was white.

Just a moment. Just a moment.

God is white. Isn't it obvious?

That's obvious, but it's not obvious that God is white.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us...

...that Jesus didn't have blond hair and blue eyes.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches that images of Jesus... prisons and churches throughout the world...

...are not historically correct.

Because history teaches us...

...Jesus was born in a region where the people had color.

There's proof in the Bible you ask us to read... Revelations, first chapter, verses 14 and 15...

...that Jesus had hair like wool...

...and feet the color of brass.

What are you saying? I'm not saying anything.

I'm proving to you that Jesus was not, to quote an Indian brother...

...he was not a paleface.

Ah-ha. Amen.

Isn't that interesting.

Brother Malcolm.

Brother Malcolm.

He's waiting for you.

My son....

You have been a thief...

...a drug dealer and a hustler...

...and the world is still full of temptation.

When God spoke to the devil about how faithful Job was...

...the devil argued...

...that it was only God's protective hedge around him...

...that kept him pure.

In fact, the devil said:

"Remove that hedge and he will curse his Maker."

Well, Malcolm...

...your hedge has been removed.

And I believe...

...will remain faithful.

Yes, sir.

Thank you, sister. How many of these should we make?

Five hundred. Make it 1000.

Brother Malcolm, this is Brother Earl. He just accepted the teachings.

Yes, sir.

Brother Earl's dedicated. We need good men like him.

I'm a willing servant for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Go ahead, brothers. Keep it busy.

Take a real good look at not just where you live...

...but take a good look at where everybody you know lives.

I don't want you to think you're some bad-luck accident.

Then I want you to go downtown, to Central Park West...

...and take a good look at how he lives. Go in other communities.

You've never seen a Booker T. Washington linguine store... an Italian community.

You've never went in a Jewish community...

...and seen no Frederick Douglass delicatessen.

Why's everybody in this community making money but us?

It's time for the black man and the woman to stand up...

...and take control of our dollars.

It's time for us to use our dollars for our liberation.

We can do what everyone else can do if we become producers...

...and if we become the masters of our own destiny.

We can have wool from sheep just like anyone else.

But where are our clothing stores?

We can get milk from cows, but where are our grocery stores?

We need to control our dollars! We need to control our destiny!

The only thing they respect is our dollars!

--the so-called freedom you and I should have.

The Statue of Liberty standing like this.

For us, it may as well say, "Stop, don't come no further."

This is what he be saying, "Don't come no further."

What I want you to do, brothers and sisters, I want you to come down to the temple.

Oh, I'm so surprised!

I'm so surprised. Y'all been in church two hours...

...and you're expecting to see heaven out here, and you're still here on earth.

Why don't you come on down to the temple at 2:00?

You'll hear truth, the black man's truth.

No, you can't deny it. You been on your knees for the last two hours...

...begging some God to help you in the hereafter.

But the hereafter is right now. The hereafter is here and now.

Let me talk to you, brother.

I know you're a smart man and a wise man.

You look good.

Now, you're in church every day, praying to this God.

But these so-called white Christians...

...they're hanging our black Christians from trees.

This is the man that hates you. He doesn't do anything for you.

He tells you to foam at the mouth and sing...

...and hope for something in the hereafter. We can have it right now.

Come on down, 2:00. See you later.

As-Salaam-Alaikum. That means, "Peace be unto you."

We have two children. Carla, who's 2 1/2, and....

Don't be ashamed when I call you black. You are.

You're black and you're beautiful. Black is beautiful.

You don't have to come here begging these folks for a job.

You can wash their clothes and scrub floors for them.

You can rock their little brats to sleep the rest of your life.

You'll still end up poor.

Yet you're here on the auction block being examined... you're a horse or a slave.

You see this here? This is who you are. Beautiful.

Your beautiful black selves, with pride and dignity.

In fact....

I'd also expect you to work one Saturday every month...

...and occasionally in the evening--

See, these are the questions you and I have to ask:

"How did we get this mind?"

You're not an American, but an African who happens to be in America.

You have to understand the difference.

We didn't come over on the NiƱa, the Pinta and the whatchamacallit.

We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

Yes! Landed right on top of us.


Is that you, brother?

Now, this is exactly what I'm talking about, the slave mentality...

...the slave mind. This brother and I, we had the slave mind.

We used to rob together. We used to sleep with white women.

We even went to prison together.

Don't be surprised. Some of you are still in prison...

...prisons of your mind.

Stand up, brother. Come on.

Ha-ha-ha. The brother's a little shy.

Come on, brother. Give me a hug.

That's all right, brother. That's all right.

Look, he's still got his hair fried.

That's the slave mind. That's the slave mind.

Red, that's the best preacher hype I ever did hear.

No hype, brother. It's the truth.

Come back to the temple and hear more.

I can't pay that shit no mind.

You need to pay it all your mind. What mind you have left.

Take it easy. This is me. Shorty.

Let's go around the corner....

No, sir. Not anymore. I've been clean for eight years.

Eight years? Eight years.

My trouble is, I love pigs feet and white women too much.

So I damn sure can't be no Muslim.

That's because you're lost, brother. That's because you're lost.

But we can find you.

What do you hear about the old gang?

You heard about Sammy?

Dead. Knocked over in bed with a chick 25 years younger than he was.

Had 25 grand in his pocket, also.

Guess it was his lucky number.

What about, uh...?

What was that brother's name?


Gone too?

Hooked on heroin. Been in and out of Lexington five or six times.

Sophia? Still happily married to that rich ofay.

- She married him? - She married him.

Went for the money.

- The money. Thank you, honey.

I haven't seen West Indian Archie.

Grapevine says he's living somewhere in the Bronx.

If you wanna call that living.

- It's been good seeing you. - Same here, Red.

Get the hell away from me, bitch!

I'll pay you tomorrow!

How you doing, Archie?

My man, Red.

Come here, man.

No, don't get up. It's all right.


...really you, Red?

Yes, it's me.

I came to, uh....

Just to thank you...

...for saving my life.

When I think back to when we were on the streets of Harlem trying... gun each other down--

I wasn't going to shoot you, man.

It was...

...just my rep.

You know?

All I had was my rep.

But now... tell me this.

You did really have that number?

I don't know, Archie....

I don't remember, and it's not important.

The important thing now is to get you back on your feet.

You know, I have some angles...

...ain't been figured yet.

Unh-- Oh.

It's all right.

Help me with my arm.

I need to exercise my arm.


That's better?

Yep. It feels good.


What happened to our women?

Women who could've been doctors, or lawyers...

...or teachers or mothers. Who'll raise our children?

What happened to our men?

Men who could've been mathematicians, electricians, uh, physicians.

What's the little boy gonna do...

...when he's looking for his father, and his father's downtown in jail?

What'll the little girl do...

...when she's looking for her mother, and she's out there selling herself?

Laura. Wait for me.

I'm telling you, that devil has made dead souls out of you and I.

You're dead.

You're dead, spiritually.

You're dead to the knowledge of yourself and your people...

...and to the knowledge of your God.

Why, my brothers and sisters, he should get down on his knees.

He should beg our mercy.

Oh, my brothers and sisters...

...his kind has committed God's greatest crime...

...against your and my kind every day of his life!

He should get on his knees and say he's committed a crime.

But does he do that?

Does he do that? No. No, he scorns you.

He splits your head with his nightstick.

He busts you in the head with that billy club.

And he calls you a nigger...

...calls you a coon. That's what he says to you. "Boy!" "Nigger!"

Four hundred years is long enough.

You've sat down and laid down and bowed down for 400 years.

I think it's time to stand up. I think it's time to stand up.

We're with you! All right.

Bless you. Bless you. I'm with you.

Come on up.

Glory! My Lord! Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him!

Yes, sir. Next Wednesday, 8:00.

I'll be there. I'll see you there.

Brother Baines? Excuse me, sister.

Do you think we can, uh, get a loudspeaker set up outside?

I'm sure we can.

Brother Malcolm, this is Sister Betty.

She lectures our Muslim women on hygiene and diet.

She stresses care for the body and regular eating habits.


- As-Salaam-Alaikum. Alaikum-Salaam, sister.

Brother Minister...

...the sister wonders if you know what Harriet Tubman did...

...between taking souls to the Promised Land?

Uh, no. What's that, sister?

She ate.

Excuse me.

She's interesting.

Minister, I was hoping you'd come and speak to my class.


Yes, I'll speak to your class.

But I'm a hard man on the women. Are you?

We must be very careful when it comes to women.

Too many of our women...

...have too much of the devil in them.

Bleaching and dyeing...

...and ironing their hair.

Running around in the streets half-naked.

Talking too much.

Listening to the wrong men...

...making them deceitful, untrustworthy, fresh.

And you men are to blame too.

We don't protect, we don't, uh, value, we don't even support them.

See, the building of a new nation begins with the woman.

Because the mother... the first teacher of the child.

The message she gives that child, the child gives to the world, so we have to be careful.

When it comes to choosing a mate...

...Samson, the strongest man that ever lived, was destroyed... the woman that slept in his arms.

Should I tell my sisters, then...

...that we don't believe in marriage? No.

No, we don't oppose marriage.

We're not Catholic priests.

We don't believe in celibacy.

Mr. Muhammad teaches that if a woman..., uh, the right height for a man, right complexion....

If she's...

...half the man's age, plus seven.

And if...

...she understands that man's essential nature is strong...

...and she's willing to support that.

And if she, uh...

...can sew and cook and...

...loves children...

...and stays out of trouble....

I think you've made your points, Brother Minister.


You haven't any time for marriage. No. Ha, ha.

So, what I'll do is write the chapters down for you...

All right. well as the New Testament chapters in St. Matthew.

Brother Minister...

...I hope that doesn't mean you won't come visit my class, though.

Oh, no. No, I'd love to come to your class. I love to teach.

I love sharing. This is the wonderful thing about Mr. Muhammad:

When he gives you this knowledge, you can't help but to run out and share it--

Excuse me, um, Brother Minister...

...would it be okay if we...

...just sat down for a moment?

It's a pretty big building and, uh, ha.... Oh, yes.

Sister, I'm sorry. I've had you on your feet all day.

Oh, no. No, no.

My mistake.

You've been on your feet for days.

And, uh, you didn't even finish your salad.

So let's talk about you. Mm.

How tall are you?

Why do you ask?

Idle question. Oh.

Well, if it's just an idle question, I hope you won't force me to answer.

No, I won't force you.


Brother Baines says that I'm tall enough for a tall man.

He's briefed you also? Ha-ha-ha.

How old are you, sister?

You know, there are a few things about women...

...that you don't understand.

Some of us, we're quite possessive, very vain...

Are you?

...and persistent when we've set our mind to something.

What have you set your mind to?

Being a good Muslim...

...a good nurse...

...and a good wife.

Brother Malcolm?

Excuse me. Certainly.

Brother Johnson was attacked by the police.

Excuse me.

A scuffle. He was just watching.

The cop said, "Move on!" He didn't move quick enough for him.

Crack! He was bleeding like a stuck hog.

So, what you gonna do?

He'll rap a little. He's a Muslim!

But you ain't gonna do nothing but make a speech.

Muslims talk a good game, but they never do nothing...

...unless somebody bothers Muslims.

We demand to see Brother Johnson.

Who the hell are you? I'm the minister from Muslim Temple No. 7.

Never heard of you.

Where is he? Not here.

Wait a second. What is your name?

Don't worry about what my name is.

Two witnesses saw Johnson brought here beat up, but not brought out.

You didn't hear the sergeant? Outside!

I suggest you look outside that window.

Jimmy, come here a second. Yes, we intend to see Brother Johnson.

Who the hell are they?

They're brothers of Brother Johnson.

Eddie, let me take a look at that blotter.


Yeah. We got a Muslim. Relief must've put it down.

Must have. But you can't see him.

Because you ain't his lawyer. No lawyer, no see.

Until I'm satisfied that Brother Johnson is receiving proper medical care...

...nobody will move.

Get an ambulance. Now!

Break it up. You got what you wanted.

No, I'm not satisfied.

To the hospital.

Suzie, come on.

We want justice! We want justice!

All right, that's enough.

Move these people out of here.

Fruit of Islam are disciplined men. They haven't broken any laws...yet.

What about them? That's your headache, captain.

But if Brother Johnson dies, I pity you.


He'll live. He's getting the best care we have.

Thank you. Certainly.

All right, okay.

Now, let's disperse this mob!

We want justice! We want justice!

That's too much power for one man to have.

Brother Minister, I'm ready to take some heads.

We gotta do something to put fear in those devils.

I'm ready to do something also. The word out of Chicago was to be patient.

I'm tired of being patient. Then you get on the phone--

You get on the phone, call Chicago and let Mr. Muhammad know.

Have a seat, son.

The only thing I like integrated... my coffee.

What can I do for you?

Well, Mr. X... name is Benjamin.

I was out there tonight.

Take it easy, now.

And I saw what it is that you did.

The way you talked to them policeman and all.

Well, Mr. X...

...I want to be a Muslim.

I ain't never seen a nigger-- I mean...

...colored person--

Negro... to no police like that before.

And you want to be a Muslim? Join the Nation Of Islam?

You know what that means? To be a Muslim?

Do you?

Mm-- No, not exactly. But I wanna be one...

...just like you.

You shouldn't join any organization unless you know exactly what it's about.

Thank you.

You shouldn't give up so easily either.

We could use more young warriors like yourself.

Come on by the temple next Wednesday, 8:00.

8:00 sharp.

Yes, sir. 8:00 sharp.

Thank you, Mr. X. And I won't make you out a liar either.

No, I don't think you will.

Tonight, I shall...

...introduce you as my national minister.

It will be a difficult task.

Your assignment... to build temples all over this nation.

More work than you've ever done.

Yes, sir. Ha, ha.

You will be in the public eye.

Beware of them cameras.

Oh, them cameras...

...are bad as any narcotic.


White devil will be watching your every step.

And your own brothers will be...



Go slowly.

Yes, sir.

Here's a glass.

It's dirty water.


If you offer this to the people...

...they have no choice.

They'll drink from it...

...if they're thirsty. Ha-ha-ha.

But if you offer them...

...this glass...

...and let them make their own decision...

...they will choose the pure vessel.

Islam... the only religion...

...that addresses the needs and the problems...

...of the so-called Negro in America.

Especially in the slums... Right.


Islam is the only way out for drugs and crime...

...unemployment, prostitution...



...and adultery, fornication.

This sweet gentle man... whose feet I kneeled gave me the truth from his own mouth.

Present them the pure vessel.

I adored him in the sense of the Latin root of the word adorare...

...which means to worship and to fear.

He was the first man I ever feared.

I don't mean fear such as one has of a gun...

...but the fear one has of the power of the sun.

I pledged myself to him, even if it cost me my life.

- Hello? Hello, Betty?

- Yes? Yeah, this is Malcolm.

I know. - Right, I'm here in Detroit.

Will you marry me? Yes.

You heard what I said, right?

- Did you hear my answer? Yes, I think so.

Brother Malcolm... Ha-ha-ha.

- ...are you eating? Yeah, I've been eating.

Ha, good.

I love you, Betty.

I love you back.

It's not gonna be easy.

No choice.

I'll be away a lot.

I know.

In fact, I'm leaving in the morning.

Oh, hush, now. Shh.

Pittsburgh, Philadelphia...

...Trenton, Newark, up through number 7 up to Boston.



You're with me...

...even when you're away.

I've never told you this...

...but the very first time I ever saw you...

...standing up on the podium... were cleaning your glasses...

...and I felt so sorry for you.

Sorry for me? Mm-hm.


Because no one as young as you should be so serious.

But I don't think that anymore.

What do you think?

I want to have a lot of babies with you.

Dear heart.

I love you.

We're waiting on you folks. Trying to starve us?

Brother Malcolm, Sister Betty...

...we pray that Allah blesses you with a happy and fruitful marriage.

Congratulations, Brother Minister.

Congratulations. Front page.

Check them out. Front page!

I must emphasize at the out start...

...that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is not a politician.

So I'm not here this afternoon as a Republican nor as a Democrat.

Tell it, brother!

Not as a Mason nor as an Elk. Well, tell us what you're here for!

Not as a Protestant nor a Catholic.

Not as a Christian nor a Jew.

Not as a Baptist nor a Methodist.

In fact, not even as an American.

Because if I was an American...

...the problem that confronts our people today wouldn't even exist.

So now we ain't Americans, huh?

So I have to stand here today as what I was when I was born...

...a black man.

Before there was any such thing as a Republican or a Democrat, we were black.

Before there was any such thing as a Mason or an Elk, we were black.

Before there was any such thing as a Jew or a Christian, we were black people.

In fact, before there was any such place as America, we were black.

And after America has long passed from the scene...

...there will still be black people.

I'm gonna tell you like it really is!

Every election year, these politicians are sent up here to pacify us.

They're sent here and set up here by the white man.

This is what they do.

They send drugs in Harlem down here to pacify us!

They send alcohol down here to pacify us!

They send prostitution down here to pacify us!

You can't get drugs in Harlem without the white man's permission.

You can't get prostitution in Harlem without the white man's permission.

You can't get gambling in Harlem without the white man's permission.

Every time you break the seal on that liquor bottle...

...that's a government seal you're breaking.

So I say, and I say it again, you been had.

You been took.

You been hoodwinked.

Bamboozled. Led astray.

Run amuck. This is what he does.

You know, some people call this hate-teaching.

This isn't hate-teaching. That's right.

This is love-teaching.

I wouldn't tell you this if I didn't love you.

I wouldn't stick my neck out for you if I didn't love you.

I want you to understand one thing: Everything I teach you...

...everything I have said to you...

...has been taught to me by this dear man.

This divine man.

All praise is due to Allah for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Attallah's fine.

And she misses you as much as I do.

But the news that you've dedicated four new temples is almost as good... having you with us. Oh, dear heart, please take care of yourself. white people try to hide their guilt... accusing the Honorable Elijah Muhammad...

...of being a black supremacist...

...simply because he's trying to uplift the mentality...

...the social and economic condition of his people.

And the Jews who have been guilty of exploiting black people...

...try to hide their guilt by accusing the Honorable Elijah Muhammad...

...of being anti-Semitic...

...simply because he's trying to teach you and I--

He's trying to teach you and I... be in charge of the businesses in our own community.

To own the businesses in our own community.

To have economic leadership in our own community.

No! No, this isn't black supremacy...

...this is black intelligence.

The black people in this country...

...have been the victims of violence... the hands of the American white man...

...for 400 years.

Four hundred years.

Four hundred years.

We thought by following those ignorant Negro preachers...

...that it was God-like to turn the other cheek... the group that was brutalizing us.

A hundred years ago, they used to put on white sheets...

...and sic bloodhounds on us.

Nowadays, they've traded in the sheets--

Some have traded in the sheets--

They've traded in the sheets--

Please, please.

They've traded in those white sheets for police uniforms.

They traded in the bloodhounds for police dogs.

And just like Uncle Tom back during slavery time....

We must remain true to nonviolence. I'm asking everybody in the line.

If you can't be nonviolent, don't get in it.

--to love our enemy and pray for those who use us spitefully.

You've got chicken-pecking Uncle Tom, so-called Negro leaders today.

And it's another great day.

You've got these Uncle Tom Negro leaders today...

...that tell us we ought to pray for our enemies.

We ought to love our enemy and integrate with the enemy...

...who bombs us, who kills and shoots us, who lynches us...

...who rapes our women and children. No!


No! That's not intelligent.

That's not intelligent.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is trying to teach you and I...

...that just as the white man and any other man on this earth...

...has the God-given right, the human right, the civil right...

...the natural right, and any other rights you can think of... protect himself...

...just as this white man has the right to defend himself...

...we have the right to defend ourselves too.

This is only natural.

This is what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is trying to teach you and I.

He's not teaching us to hate the white man.

He's teaching us to love ourselves.

Mr. X, uh, before we begin our discussion tonight...

..."The Black Muslims: Hate Mongers"...

...would you mind explaining for us the meaning of your name...

...which is the letter "X"?

Yes, uh, during slavery time, the slave master...

...gave the Negro-- So-called Negro--

Named the so-called Negro after themselves.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us...

...that once we come into the knowledge of Islam, the knowledge of ourselves...

...we replace our slave name with an "X"...

..."X" in mathematics representing the unknown.

Since we've been disconnected, or cut off from our own history...

...our own past, our own culture, our own land...

...we use the "X," the unknown, until we get back to our country.

I see. Thank you. Uh, Dr. Payson?

Mr. X is a.... He's a demagogue.

He has no place to go, so he exaggerates.

He's a disservice to every good..., church-going American Negro in the country.

Mr. Malcolm X...

...why do you teach black supremacy?

Why--? Why do you teach hate?

Well, for the white man... ask the black man...

...why he hates him... like the wolf asking the sheep, or the rapist asking the raped...

..."Do you hate me?"

The white man is in no moral position to accuse the black man of anything.

This is a black man asking the question.

What would you call an educated Negro with a B.A., an M.A., a B.S. or a Ph.D.?

You call him a nigger. That's what the white man calls him.

You have to understand this thinking.

To understand this type of man, you must understand that historically...

...there were two types of slaves: the house Negro and the field Negro.

The house Negro lived in the house... to his master, in the big house, in the basement or the attic.

He dressed good, he ate good, what the master left him.

He loved his master.

He loved his master better than the master loved himself.

If master said, "We got a nice house," you say, "Yeah, boss, we got a nice house."

Master's house caught on fire, the house Negro...

...would put the blaze out.

If the master got sick, he'd say, "What's the matter, boss? We sick?"

"We sick"! This is the thinking of the house Negro.

If another slave said to him:

"Let's run away, let's separate from this cruel master"...

...he said, "Why? What's better than what we got here?

I'm not going anywhere." This is the house Negro.

In those days, we called them house niggers.

That's what we call them today because we still got a lot of house niggers.

Dear Holy Apostle...

...the ministers think Malcolm is getting too much press.

They think he thinks he is the Nation of Islam.

That he has aspirations to lead the Nation.

It was you who made Malcolm the man he is.

You lifted him out of darkness.


You go and tell the brothers...

...that what the Brother Minister... doing, has done...

...has been of great benefit to the Nation.

And you tell them that I say so.

The ministers think he is of great benefit to himself.

One at a time.

Did you say white people are devils?

I said they're devils.

Should all blacks be armed, sir?

Well, one of your most famous men said:

"Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." That's the way you think.

Do you think your cause will be successful?

I sincerely hope so.

Do you advocate violence? No, sir.

Has a white man helped your people?

Has there been a white man that's helped my people?

- Correct. I don't understand the question.

You preach anti-white, anti-Christian science.

You're saying you're anti-white?

No, you're saying it. Are all white people devils?

We've gotta move out. We've got a plane to catch.

Excuse me, Mr. X? Um....

I've read some of your speeches...

...and I honestly believe that a lot of what you have to say is true.

I'm a good person in spite of what my ancestors did.

I just wanted to ask you...

...what can a white person like me, who isn't prejudiced...

...what can I do to help you and further your cause?


My high school was a black ghetto... Roxbury, right here in Boston.

I got my college education on the streets of Harlem in New York City.

I took my master's degree in prison, over the course of 6 1/2 years.

In fact... old burglary hangout was just outside this campus.

I lived like an animal.

I stole.

I used drugs.

I smoked reefers, cocaine.

I committed adultery. Had it not been for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad...

...I'd have surely been in an insane asylum or dead...

...or possibly even a murderer of one of you.

So, what is Mr. Muhammad trying to do? He's trying to get us on God's side... that God will be on our side and help us fight our battles.

When the so-called Negro in America gets on God's side...

...and listens to the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad...

...he'll want to get off of drugs and get away from a life of crime.

He'll want to get away from committing adultery.

Then he'd want to get off welfare. He'd want a job... take care of his family. And his family would respect him.

His son will say, "I'm proud that that's my father."

His wife will say, "I'm proud that that's my husband."

"Father" only means that you're taking care of your children. That's what it is.

"Father" doesn't mean that you're having some babies.

That doesn't make you a father. Anybody can go out and get a woman.

But not anybody can take care of that woman.

There's another word for it. It's called "responsibility."

If the so-called Negro in America was truly an American citizen...

...we wouldn't have a racial problem.

If the Emancipation Proclamation was authentic, we wouldn't have a race problem.

If the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments...

...were authentic, we wouldn't have a race problem.

If the Supreme Court desegregation decision were authentic...

...we wouldn't have a race problem.

But you have to see that all of this is hypocrisy.

These Negro leaders are telling the white man...

...that everything's all right, we got it under control.

That everything the Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches is wrong.

Mr. Muhammad said these things were gonna come to pass...

...and now this things are starting to come to pass.

Now these same Negro leaders...

...are running around talking about there's about to be a racial explosion.

Yes, there's gonna be a racial explosion.

And a racial explosion is more dangerous than an atomic explosion.

There's going to be an explosion because black people are dissatisfied...

...not only with the white man, but with these Uncle Tom Negro leaders...

...that are trying to pose as spokesmen for you and I.

Just like you have a--

Just like you have a powder keg.

When you have a powder keg and there's too many sparks...

...the thing's going to explode.

If the thing that's going to explode is sitting inside the house...

...and if it explodes, then the house is going to be destroyed.

I said the house is going to be destroyed.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is teaching you and I...

...and trying to tell the white man to get this powder keg out of his house.

Let the black man separate from his house.

Let the black man have his own house.

Let the black man have his own land and property.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is trying to tell the white man...

...that this thing, this explosion, is gonna bring down his house.

This is what he's telling him. More importantly, he's telling him...

...that if he doesn't do something about it...

...if he doesn't do something about it, it's gonna explode any day now.

Yes it is.

I'm just here to tell you, and I'm gonna make it very short.

I'm here to tell you about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's greatest greatness.

His greatest greatness is that he has the only solution...

...for peace in this country.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad's solution... the only solution for you and I.

It's the only solution for the white man.

Complete separation...

...between the black race and the white race.

It's the only solution.

All praise due to Allah for Elijah Muhammad!

All praise due to Allah for Elijah Muhammad!

Brother Malcolm!

Yes, yes. Hold on, hold on.

Yes, sir. It's all right. My brother. How you doing?

Can I ask you something? Anything.

Are you Elijah's pimp?

He should be killed talking like that! Hold it. Hold on.

What are you saying, brother?

"His greatest greatness."

Just say what you're saying.

If you don't know...

...I feel the sorriest for you.

Oh, come on, brother.

Let me tell you something-- No. Let me tell--

It's all right.

It's all right.

He's just hungry for knowledge, that's all.

Yeah, that brother's starving. Ha, ha.

So am I. Come on, let's get something to eat. Ha-ha-ha.

We'll talk about it tomorrow.

Okay, night-night, Daddy. Night-night.

Long night.

Oh, yeah.

What you looking at? You.

Why you looking at me like that? Because you're in trouble.

How do you know that? Oh, dear heart.

Because I know you.

Well, if you know me... know that I don't like to bring my troubles into my house.

You know that also.

Yes, I do. Okay.

But I'm not made of glass.

And I won't break.

Look, Betty, I just want peace.

I want to sit here with you. I want to... still. I want peace in my house.

Have we ever had a fight? Never.

Argument? Never had one, no.

We're gonna have one...

...right now if you don't talk about it. Talk about what?

The talk's everywhere. There's always gonna be talk.

Aren't they talking now about me trying to take over the Nation?

Aren't they talking about how we're getting rich... the Nation of Islam?

We could talk about that too. Let's talk about it.

It's not just talk anymore.

Elijah Muhammad...

...67-year-old leader of the Black Muslim movement... faced paternity suits from two former secretaries."

These are slanders. These are lies. Don't you realize that?

Don't you realize whose newspaper this is. This is the devil's newspaper.

He's trying to divide us.

Don't you see that? Divide and conquer. He's trying to bring down our leader.

"Both women... their 20s, charge that they had intimacy--"

"Intimacies with Mr. Muhammad."

You think I'm not aware of these accusations?

You think I'm not aware of these vicious lies?

Brother Baines and I discussed it today.

Baines? Is he your friend? What's the matter with you?

Nothing. What's the matter with you?

Wake up! Are you so committed that you've blinded yourself?

You're so dedicated, you can't face the truth?


He's the editor of the newspaper that you established.

Ask him why your name hasn't appeared in Muhammad Speaks in over a year.

I'm not interested in publicity. You're in every other paper.

Not one single sentence in your own. Our people know what I'm doing.

But do you know what Baines is doing? What is this Baines? Baines!

You're so blind! Everyone can see this but you!

Baines is the one who saved my life.

When I crawled in prison like an animal...

...he brought me to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

And the Honorable Elijah Muhammad brought me back from the dead--

A long time ago! You've repaid them!

Don't you raise your voice in my house!

Ask them.

Ask them why they have new cars, houses and furniture.

Is that what this is about? You want new furniture?

You want some cars? What do we have?

What do we have, Malcolm?

Broken-down jalopy....

The clothes on our backs.

You want new clothes? I'll get you new clothes.

We don't even own our own home.

What about our children? What about me?

You don't even own life insurance.

The Nation will provide for you if anything happens to me--

Will they?

Are you sure?

Are you sure?

Are you sure?

Or are you blind?

All right.


I've got work to do, so....

There's always work to do.

Help me. I'm trying to.

I'm raising our children practically by myself.

And what am I doing?

What do you want me to do? Stay home?

You don't know how often they ask, "Where's Daddy? I want Daddy."

You want me to make the beds and go on the road?

The people need me! We need you!

I need you too. But what do you want me to do?

Open your eyes. Open your eyes.

You can face death 24 hours a day, but the possibility of betrayal...

...never enters your head.

Open your eyes.

- As-Salaam-Alaikum, minister. - Alaikum-Salaam, sister.

Her name's Eva Marie.

And she's 2 years old.

Brother Minister, I didn't do anything wrong.

I didn't do anything to be put in isolation.

I believed in him.

I believed in the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Believe in Allah.

This is Saudi. She's 2.

And you have Lisha. She's 3.

From their own mouths, I heard who had fathered their children.

And from their own mouths I heard that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad...

- ...had told them I was his best. He often spoke of you.

He loves you like you were his own son.

The greatest minister he had, but that I would leave him...

...turn against him. And so I was dangerous.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, while praising me to my face...

And he said that about me?

...was tearing me apart behind my back.

You're sure about all this? Yes, I am.

All I want is support for my three children...

...that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad provide for them.

That's all I want.

Allah will provide...

...for all of us.

What are you talking about, blackout? Perhaps some brothers are a little jealous.

Maybe they think you've been getting too much press.

It's nothing. Forget it.

Now, about our coming up in the world a little.

The Nation's grown. We've grown with it.

You know our people.

They want their leaders to be prosperous.

One hand washes the other.

"I'm telling you God's words, not no hustle."

Remember what you told me in prison?

"I'm telling you God's words, not no hustle."

Brother Malcolm...

...what do you want? A new car?

A new house?

It's the money, isn't it?

But we tell the whole world that we're moral leaders...

...because we follow...

...the personal example of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Elijah Muhammad is a human being...

...and so are you.

Do you know your Bible? Do you?

David slept with Bathsheba...

...but he's remembered for slaying Goliath.

Noah was accused of drunkenness, but God gave him the ark.

Solomon had 700 wives, but he was history's greatest, wisest king.

Brother Baines is a two-bit hustler, but one hand washes the other.

A great man's deeds outweigh his personal weaknesses.

Who needs the nutmeg now, brother?

I'm not gonna allow-- Be careful, Malcolm.

I warn you.

You be careful.

I'm not surprised.

You have a very good understanding of prophecy, of spiritual matters.

I'm not surprised.

I have built this Nation...

...under the divine guidance of Allah.

He has brought me back from the dead to lead my people.

After me, there will be no more.

No more.

I must...

...plant my seed in fertile soil.

It is only...

...the fulfillment of prophecy.

My faith had been shattered in a way I can never fully describe.

Every second of my 12 years with Mr. Muhammad...

...I'd been ready to lay down my life for him.

The thing to me that is worse than death itself is betrayal.

I could conceive death, but I couldn't conceive betrayal.

Not of the loyalty I gave to the Nation of Islam and Mr. Muhammad.

During the previous 12 years, if Mr. Muhammad had committed any crime...

...punishable by death, I would have tried to prove I did it... save him.

I would have gladly gone to the electric chair in his place.

Up in the mornin'

Out on the job

I work like the devil For my pay What did he say?

I know that lucky old sun I'm so sorry. There's nothing to be sorry about.

I just got a lot of work to do, that's all.

How can you work?

Because we have to teach.

We gotta teach the people. We gotta teach on Solomon, Moses...

...David. Solomon had 700 wives.

A man's good deeds, they far outweigh any of his....

My father used to say that, uh... can't make a rooster stop crowing after sunrise.

Well, the sun is up.

I know that lucky old sun

Has nothin' to do

But roll around Heaven all day

So, what do I say about this so-called national day of mourning?

I say the white man's acts of violence should be condemned... our beliefs and by his own.

The Koran teaches us that those who work evil...

...will be condemned, punished or judged according to their works.

The Holy Bible teaches us that you reap what you sow.

This is divine justice.

In the Americas' soil, the white man has planted seeds of hatred...

...the seeds of violence.

He's allowed those weeds to grow up and choke...

...the lives of millions of black men and women for 400 years...

...and the lives of Indians in these Americas for 500 years.

And now those same weeds have choked one of his own gardeners, his chief gardener.

You ask me what I say. I only say what the Bible says.

I say what the Koran says.

I say it's justice.

Don't you even feel a bit of remorse...

...saddened by President Kennedy's assassination?

I don't think anyone would deny that when you send chickens...

...out from your barnyard...

...those chickens will return to your barnyard, not your neighbor's.

It's an example of the devil's chickens coming home to roost.

The violence that he's perpetrated here and abroad... it four children in Birmingham, or Medgar Evers, or in Africa...

...this same violence has claimed one of their own.

Being a farm boy, chickens coming home to roost never made me sad.

In fact, it's only made me glad.

Did you... the paper today?

Yes, sir. I did.

That was a bad statement you made.

You knew from my instructions... minister was to make any statements against this man.

The country loved this man.

You have made it...


...for Muslims... general.

Yes, sir.

We must disassociate ourselves...

...from your terrible blunder.

I must silence you.

For 90 days... must not make any statements to the press...

...nor are you to speak at any temples.

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir. I submit 100 percent.

Leave us alone.

Betty? Leave us alone. Stop calling here.

Who's putting you up to this? We have children here!

Stop it!


It's all right.

They keep calling.

They keep calling. Shh.


...take the babies and put them to bed.

Come on, babies. Let's go to bed now.

Bedtime. Come on.

Let's go.

Good night, Mommy. Good night, Daddy.

Good night, Sidney. Night-night.

Brother Minister, I have to level with you.

They gave me a mission...

...but I couldn't do it.

I love you all. What kind of mission?

To wire your car... it would explode...

...when you turned the ignition.

The ministers say you're spreading untruths about Mr. Muhammad.

They say that you're the greatest hypocrite...

...a Judas...

...a Benedict Arnold.

The ministers say that your tongue should be cut out...

...and delivered to Mr. Muhammad's doorstep.

And what do you say?

I'm with you, Brother Minister.

You'll be marked for death.

Yes, sir.

Let me die then.


I can't come between you and your father.

You're my father. Go on home.

Don't come back. That's an order.

Yes, sir.

Because 1964 threatens to be an explosive year on the racial front...

...I have called this press conference to clarify my position in that struggle.

Internal differences within the Nation of Islam have forced me out of it.

In the past, I thought and spoke the words of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Everything I said, I started with:

"The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us" thus-and-so.

That day is over.

From now on I speak my own words, and I think my own thoughts.

Now that I have more, uh, independence of action...

...I'll use a more flexible approach in working with others... solve this problem.

I'm not out to fight other Negro leaders.

I've forgotten every bad thing other leaders said about me...

...and I pray they'll forget the many bad things I said about them.

We must work together to find a common solution to a common problem.

I will organize and lead a new mosque in New York City:

Muslim Mosque, Incorporated.

This gives us the religious base and the spiritual, uh, force...

...necessary to rid our people of the vices...

...that destroy the moral fiber of our community.

Our politics will be Black Nationalism...

...meaning, we want to control our community's politics.

The Muslim Mosque, Inc. will remain open...

...for ideas and financial aid from all quarters.

Whites can help us, but they can't join us.

There can't be black-white unity until there's first black unity.

We can't unite with others...

...until we've first learned to unite amongst ourselves.

We can't be acceptable to others...

...until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.

In my desire to fully understand the religion of Islam... practiced by 750 million Muslims around the world...

...I intend to make a pilgrimage, or holy, uh, journey, to Mecca.

This pilgrimage is a religious requirement...

...or duty, of every Muslim that is able...

...uh, to make the pilgrimage at least once in his lifetime.

I'm Egyptian. And you?


What's your name?

Malcolm. Malcolm.

Yes, I want to get--

How much? Twenty Egyptian pounds.

For one?

Special price for you. Special for me!

Okay, thank you. Where can I get a better price?

What's your name? Mohammed.

Mohammed, I'm Malcolm.

Malcolm X. And you? Gamaal.

All right, Gamaal. I'm from, uh, Harlem. From the United States.


Harlem. Hareem?

No, not Hareem. Harlem.

Can you show me around?

Hash? No. No hashish.

Uh-- Uh, uh....

You know, the pyramids. Yeah!

No, pyramids. Pyramids. Pyramids.

Pyramids? Pyramids.

You're gonna take me? Yes. Yes.

Sphinx. Sphinx.

My darling Betty:

Everywhere I go, I am welcomed as a representative of our people.

Our struggle is known and respected worldwide.

Coincidentally, two white men follow me around wherever I go.

I wonder who they're working for?

If I was a betting man, I'd say the CIA.

What's your guess?

Today I arrived in Arabia.

I have never witnessed such sincere hospitality...

...and true brotherhood... practiced here... the ancient home of Abraham, Mohammed...

...and the great prophets of the Scriptures."

Today, with thousands of others...

...I proclaimed God's greatness in the sacred city of Mecca.

In the ihram garb, I made my seven circuits around the Kaaba.

I drank from the well of Zem Zem.

I prayed to Allah from Mount Arafat.

It was the only time in my life that I stood before the creator of all...

...and felt like a complete human being.

Now, you may be shocked by these words...

...but I've eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass...

...and prayed to the same God with Muslims whose eyes were blue...

...whose hair was blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white.

And we were all brothers...


People of all colors and races believing in one God, in one humanity.

Each hour in this sacred land gives me...

...greater spiritual insight into what is happening in America.

The American Negro can never be blamed for his racial animosities.

He's only reacting to 400 years of oppression and discrimination.

But as racism leads America up the suicidal path...

...I believe the younger generation will see the writing on the wall...

...and many will want to turn to the spiritual path of truth...

...the only way left to ward off the disaster...

...that racism must surely lead to.

Once before, in prison, the truth came and blinded me.

Well, it has happened again.

In the past, I've made sweeping indictments of all white people.

And these generalizations have caused injuries... some white folks who didn't deserve them.

"Because of the spiritual rebirth which I was blessed to undergo... a result of my pilgrimage... the holy city of Mecca...

...I no longer subscribe to sweeping indictments of one race.

I intend... be very careful not to....

--careful not to sentence anyone who has not been proven guilty.

I am not a racist...

...and I do not subscribe to any of the tenets of racism.

In all honesty and sincerity... can be stated that I wish nothing but freedom, justice...

...and equality..., liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people.

My first concern is with the group to which I belong...

...for we, more than others, are deprived of our inalienable rights.

But the true practice of Islam...

...can remove the cancer of racism...

...from the hearts and the souls of all Americans.

If I can die having brought any light...

...having exposed any truth that will help destroy this disease...

...then all the credit is due to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.

And only the mistakes have been mine.

Please give all my love to the children.

I love you dearly.

Sincerely, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz...

...Malcolm X.

Let's begin.

Malcolm, you said on your trip abroad you sensed a feeling of great brotherhood.

Uh, yes, when I was in Mecca making the pilgrimage...

...the brotherhood that existed there among all people, all races...

...all levels of people who had accepted the religion of Islam...

...what it had done for those people, despite...

...their complexion differences....

Perhaps if people here in America would try...

...and practice and study the religion of Islam, it might help... erase the plague of racism here.

I think Muslims over there look at themselves as...

...human beings, as part of the same human family.

Today my friends are black..., yellow, brown and white.

Are you prepared to ask the UN to bring charges against the U.S...

...for its treatment of Negroes?

Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

The audience will have to be quiet.

Please, please.

Yes, as I stated earlier that, um...

...those nations, African, Latin, Asian nations...

...are hypocritical when they stand up in the UN...

...and denounce the racism practiced in South Africa...

...but say absolutely nothing about...

...the practice of racism here in American society.

Now, I wouldn't be a man if I didn't do so.

Will you work now with leaders of other civil rights organizations?

Yes, we're prepared to work with any groups, leaders, organizations... long as they're genuinely interested in, uh, results.

Positive results.

Does your new beard have any religious significance?

Uh, no, not particularly, but...

...I think that, uh, as black people in America strive... throw off the shackles of mental colonialism...

...they'll also reflect their desire... throw off the shackles of cultural colonialism.

I believe that a mental and cultural migration back to Africa...

...not necessarily a physical one...

...but a mental and cultural migration back to Africa...

...which means we reaffirm our bond with our brothers over there...

...would help to strengthen, uh, us here, black people in America.

Not only spiritually, but it would give us the incentive... solve some of our problems here, at, uh, at home.

One of your more controversial remarks...

...called for black people to get rifles and form clubs.

Do you still favor that for self-defense?

I don't see why that's controversial.

If white people find themselves the victims...

...of the violence black people found themselves victims of in America...

...and if the government was unable or unwilling to do anything...'d be intelligence on their part to defend themselves.

What about the guns?

When you tell your people to stop being violent against my people...

...I'll tell my people to put away their guns. So you're still an extremist.

Get your hand out of my pocket!


Next question.

Malcolm, you one dead, red nigger.

Your days on this earth are numbered, brother.

Come to bed.

Get some rest.

I'm sorry, Betty.

Sorry for what?

I haven't been the best husband or the best father.

A family shouldn't be separated like ours has been.

I promise I'll never make a long trip without you and the children.

I miss you and the girls.

We will be together, I promise you that.

Dear heart....

I love you.

Thank you.

Now get some sleep.

We had the best organization the black man has ever seen.

Niggers ruined it.


Betty, wake up.

Come on! Let's get up!

Girls, come on! Come on! Out! Out!

Outside! Out! Out! Out!

Go, go! Run, run!

Go across the street!

Somebody call the fire department! Help! Help!

Call the fire department, please!

Somebody call the fire department!

I'm a man!

Evidently, the, um...

...some type of Molotov bomb was thrown against the back of the house.

One was thrown on the side of the house, from what I can tell.

It bounced up against the window and woke my daughter.

Had it gone inside, my 2-year-old, my 4-year-old...

...and my 6-year-old daughter would have--

Had that happened, I'd have taken my rifle...

...and gone after anyone in sight.

Was this a warning or an attempt on your life?

What, does it look like a warning to you?

This was a definite attempt... the Nation of Islam, upon the strict orders of Mr. Elijah Muhammad.

Muslim headquarters say-- I don't care what they say.

I see what they're doing.

Minister Baines, can you tell us who bombed the house?

We feel it's a publicity stunt on the part of Malcolm X.

We hope it isn't a case of, well...

...if he can't keep the house, we won't get it either.

That's enough. Excuse me.


I'm all right. I'm all right.

Betty and the kids? They're fine.

Let's post some men in front of the house.

Did you see anybody? No, but I know who it is.

You know I know who did it. Give us the command.

Don't worry about the command. Two men on post, two in front!

We got an informant among us, whether you like it or not.

Now, we gotta weed this so-called brother out before things get too crazy.

Spark it.

As-Salaam-Alaikum, my brothers.

Here's your key. Enjoy your stay. Thank you.


Brother Earl, it's Malcolm.

Earl. Malcolm. Where are you?

We've been calling all over the city.

Hold on.

I'm downtown.

I'm in a hotel trying to get some work done for tomorrow.

Let me bring some brothers there. - That's all right.

I wish you'd listen to us.

We must frisk people at the Audubon Ballroom meeting.

No, no. I don't want....

I don't want anybody frisked.

We have to change our way of thinking.

We have to make people feel comfortable.

If I can't be safe around my own kind, who can I be safe around?

I trust Allah will protect me.

Believing in Allah is one thing, but I also believe in being armed.

We don't want black people killing each other, all right?

All right?

We'll protect you, Malcolm.


No, peace be unto you, Earl. Peace be unto you.

I said, shotgun Shoot him 'fore he runs, now Do the jerk, baby Do the jerk, now Good evening. Do you have a Malcolm X registered?

I said, buy yourself a shotgun, now

We're gonna load it up, baby, now A-then you shoot him 'fore he run, now I said, shotgun Shoot him 'fore he run, now

Do the jerk, now

Your red nigger is dead and so are your bastard children!

Shotgun Shoot him 'fore he run, now

Do the jerk, baby Do the jerk, now Put on your high-heel shoes I said, we're going down here Listen to them play them blues Hello. - Wake up, brother.


You hear me and hear me well. You come anywhere near my family...

...and I will kill you. - Betty?

Do you hear?

Betty, shh.

Betty, it's me. It's Malcolm. Malcolm.

Oh, ha, ha.

They keep calling.

They keep threatening. I go crazy every time a phone rings.

Just don't answer the phone. Everything will be all right.

- When will it stop? Don't answer the phone.

- Are the brothers there on post? Yes, they're outside.

Let them answer the phone. Don't touch the phone.

Beloved, where are you?

I'm in a hotel.

In a hotel.

- The girls asleep? Yes.

I just put them down to bed.

Can we come to the meeting tomorrow?

No, I don't think so.

The girls and I want to see you. We miss you.

Betty, it's too dangerous.

It's been dangerous.

Listen, I haven't told this to anybody...

...but I've been thinking...

...about what's been happening to me lately, to us lately...

...and I'm gonna stop saying The Nation of Islam's behind this.

I know what they can and can't do. I trained them.

Some of the things that have been happening lately....

I'm gonna stop saying it's just The Nation of Islam.

They're not working alone.

They're getting a lot of help.

Are you sure?

I miss you, Betty.

You're with us even when you're away.

Now, listen, you come on down to the Audubon tomorrow.

We'll be all right. We're not gonna let this get us down. We'll be fine.

You come on down. Bring the girls too.

The girls and I miss you so much.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Compared to King, this guy's a monk.

- Good night. Sleep well. I love you. - Good night.

Sweetheart, Attallah, sit back.

Sit up. Sit up straight.

Mama, I want the doll.

Go sit down.


What do you say to the nice man? Thank you.

You're very welcome, my beautiful sister.


The minister hasn't arrived yet.

Don't worry. He'll be here like clockwork.



Are you all right?

Are you okay?

Yeah. Good. I recognize you.

Don't you pay them folks no never mind.

You just keep right on doing what you doing.

Yes, ma'am.

Ha, ha. I'll pray for you, son. Well, thank you.

Jesus will protect you.

Is the charter ready?

Uh, no, Brother Minister. No?

No? Why not?

You had enough time, didn't you?

I apologize. We'll have it next week.

We don't have next week. We need it today.

The people want to hear the charter today.

Next week, Minister.

Is the reverend here?

The reverend called and said he wouldn't be able to attend.

So now we don't have an opening speaker or a charter....

Why didn't you say this last night when I talked to you?

I called Sister Betty-- You didn't have to call her.

You should've told me. Why tell her?

I assumed that-- Don't assume anything!

Go on down front.

Sister, you go on with the brother. Yes, sir.


What's wrong?

It's a time for martyrs now.

The way I feel...

...I shouldn't go out there today.

Fine. Let's cancel it.

My wife out there? My children?

Down front, as always.

Go out to the pay phone outside.

Call up the reverend, see if he can make it down here.

I gotta be on post, Malcolm. I'm supposed to be out there guarding you.

Besides, that's a duty for secretaries-- Go out to the pay phone.

Call up the reverend.

See if he can make it down here.


Please, let's settle down. Let's get the program started.

Thank you.

I apologize for raising my voice earlier.

It was very disrespectful.

Brother Minister, I understand.

Why, styles are changing...

...minds are changing, why, everything is changing.

So you and I must consider that we're living in very changing times.

And what might be true today may not be true tomorrow.

And without any further ado, I present to you...

...Brother Minister Malcolm. And I pray...

...that you and I will listen. Listen...

...hear and understand. Thank you.


Get your hand out of my pocket!


Please. Hold it.

Calm down. Please, brothers!





Get an ambulance!

Somebody get an ambulance! They killed him!

They killed him!

I'm gonna kill you! I'm gonna kill you!

Get him!

He killed Malcolm!

Back off, people!

We've got multiple shooting victims.

Get out of the way!


Stand back! Get out of the way! Get back!

Give us a statement, sir! Please!

The person you know as Malcolm X is no more.

The assassination...

...of Malcolm X was an unfortunate tragedy.

And it reveals that there are still...

...uh, numerous people in our nation who have...

...degenerated to the point of expressing dissent through murder...

...and we haven't learned to disagree without being violently disagreeable.

Here... this final hour... this quiet place...

...Harlem has come to bid farewell... one of its brightest hopes...

...extinguished now...

...and gone from us forever.

It is not in the memory of man that this...

...beleaguered, unfortunate...

...but nonetheless proud community...

...has found a braver, more gallant young champion...

...than this Afro-American who lies before us...

...unconquered still.

I say the word again as he would want me to:


Afro-American Malcolm.

Malcolm had stopped being "Negro"...

...years ago.

It had become too small, too puny, too weak a word for him.

Malcolm was bigger than that.

Malcolm had become... Afro-American.

And he wanted so desperately...

...that we, that all his people...

...would become Afro-Americans too.

There are those who still consider it their duty... friends of the Negro people, to tell us... revile him.

To flee, even from the presence of his memory.

To save ourselves... writing him out of the history of our turbulent times.

And we will smile.

They will say that he is of hate, a fanatic...

...a racist, who can only bring evil to the cause...

...for which you struggle.

And we will answer and say unto them:

"Did you ever talk... Brother Malcolm?

Did you ever touch him...

...or have him smile at you?

Did you ever really listen to him?"

You haven't done the right thing.

"Was he ever associated with violence or any public disturbance?

For if you did, you would know him.

And if you knew him... would know why we must honor him."

Malcolm was our manhood. Our living, black manhood.

This was his meaning to his people.

And in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves.

However much we may have differed with him...

...or with each other about him and his value as a man...

...let his going from us serve...

...only to bring us together now...

...consigning these mortal remains to earth...

...the common mother of all... in the knowledge that what we place in the ground... no more now a man...

...but a seed...

...which after the winter of our discontent...

...will come forth again to meet us.

And we shall know him then...

...for what he was and is:

A prince.

Our own black shining prince...

...who didn't hesitate to die...


...he loved us so.

And so today, May 19th, we celebrate Malcolm X's birthday...

...because he was a great, great Afro-American.

Malcolm X is you, all of you.

And you are Malcolm X.

I'm Malcolm X!

I'm Malcolm X!

I'm Malcolm X! I'm Malcolm X!

I'm Malcolm X! I am Malcolm X!

I am Malcolm X! I am Malcolm X!

I am Malcolm X! I am Malcolm X!

As Brother Malcolm said:

"We declare...

...our right...

...on this earth... be a man... be a human being... be given the rights...

...of a human being... be respected... a human being... this society...

...on this earth... this day...

...which we intend to bring...

...into existence--"

--by any means necessary!