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One of the most amazing things about working at the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma was meeting random, interesting people. Folks would often just wonder into the museum and have fascinating information or artifacts from the Movement. #MalcolmXDay
One of the greatest example was this man who came in and told us that he was in Selma reporting on the Movement when Malcolm X came to speak. For those who don’t know the story there was a bit of happenstance that led to that visit. Bro. Malcolm wasn’t originally scheduled.
He was in Alabama to speak at Tuskegee Univ and SNCC organizers heard he was there and pleaded with him to bring his message to Selma where the Voting Rights struggle had heated all the way up - that is both the organizing AND the police terrorism.
Dr. King was in Selma when Bro. Malcolm came but was in jail following a protest. The students arranged for Malcolm to speak at the noon Mass meeting at Brown Chapel Church where a number of meetings took place.
Since Dr. King was in jail Rev. Shuttlesworth, the fiery Bham preacher and leader spoke and then Bro. Malcolm - followed by Mrs. Coretta Scott King, who is often depicted as ‘just a wife’ but was a leader in her own right. It was Mrs. King’s first time meeting Malcolm X.
The thing is there weren’t many reporters in the church that day because they were at the jailhouse where King was. There is video because ABC was set up to broadcast but not any photos that we had seen in the museum.
This man was in the church and had taken photos and came to the museum to donate prints to us. It was such a treat to listen to him talk about how that period in his life changed him and how listening to Bro. Malcolm gave him more clarity than he expected.
Mrs. King later said that she was surprised by Bro. Malcolm and his message to Dr. King which was - in part - that if White people understood what the alternative was they would be more inclined to listen to King.
I love these photos and I thought today was a good day to share on the occasion of his 95th Birthday. This was three weeks before his assassination on Feb 21st and four weeks before Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965.
This is the picture many have seen from that day.
Here are the ones he gave us:
Happy Birthday to our Black Shining Prince ❤️🖤💚
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