From October 23 to November 10, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will display unpublished chapters and never-before-seen notes on The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
The manuscript includes handwritten notes between X and famed Roots writer Alex Haley who helped pen the autobiography. Within the document, readers can see where creative ideas clashed as Haley urged X to calm his criticisms of white America.
One of the chapters, entitled “The Negro,” was rumored to have remained secret due to rhetoric which some feared might increase racial tensions.
“The Western World is sick,” the chapter begins. “The American society – with the song of Christianity providing the white man with the illusion that what he has done to the Black man is ‘right’ – is as sick as Babylon. And the Black man here in the wilderness, the so-called ‘Negro’ is sickest of them all.”
A page from an unpublished chapter of The Autobiography of Malcolm X called “The Negro.”
Credit Jeenah Moon: for The New York Times @nytimes pic.twitter.com/YOdGkRQrWd— #blkcreatives netwrk (@blkcreatives) July 26, 2018
“These materials are extremely significant, as they can provide researchers with extensive new insights into the writing process and thoughts of one of the most important and influential figures and books of the 20th Century,” Schomburg Center Director Kevin Young said in a press release. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a monumental work; to actually see how that book took shape through Malcolm X’s handwritten corrections and notes is very powerful. Additionally, the omitted chapter, believed to be removed after Malcolm X’s death, places the work in a new context, and provides an understanding as to why it was excluded from the book in the first place.”
The exhibit will feature a partial version of the manuscript that illustrates X and Haley’s exchanges as well as writing fragments demonstrating X’s reworking of the text.
New pages will be cycled through the display until November 10. Researchers will be open to access the documents by appointment starting November 13.
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