By the time of his tragic murder in 1965, Malcolm X was world-famous as the angriest black man in America. From hustling, cocaine addiction and armed violence in the ghettoes of Harlem he had turned, in a dramatic prison conversion, to the puritanical fervour of the Black Muslims. Speaking out to millions of oppressed blacks, he brought new hope and self-respect. But was he, in the words of one critic, merely a racist preaching the upside-down religion of brotherly hatred? Or was he indeed one of the founding fathers, whose passionate eloquence has helped to nourish the grassroots of the modern anti-racist movement? Malcolm X's now classic Autobiography is written with the blazing candour and integrity that led him to reject black racism as well as liberal hypocrisy and suffer a martyr's death.
In a Foreword, Alex Haley draws a warm, vivid and not uncritical portrait of one of this century's remarkable revolutionaries.