First MLK’s Kids, Now the Heirs of Malcolm X are Headed to Court
Family members of Malcolm X have filed suit to prevent the publication of the slain leader’s diary.
At issue is the diary Malcolm X kept during the year before his assassination, as he traveled through the Middle East and Africa. The diary has been reproduced for publication and lists the daughter of Malcolm X, Ilyasah Shabazz, as an editor. Other family members, however, are filing suit, alleging that the publisher, Third World Press, does not own the rights to the diary.
Vice President of Third World Press, Bennett Johnson, contradicts the family’s claim and says the publisher has a contract signed by one of Malcolm X’s daughters.
A video promoting the publication of the diary shows the daughter of Malcolm X discussing the importance of the diary been added to the body of work already produced by Malcolm X.
“It’s really beautiful that we get to see Malcolm in his own voice – without scholars, historians or observers saying what he was thinking or what he was doing or what he meant” Shabazz says.
Third World Press says the memoir “described deep emotional connections [Malcolm X] developed during a period that was constantly colored by his prophetic sense of impending tragedy”. They also promote the diary as having a “unique” blueprint for African-Americans.
The diary is scheduled to be published on November 14, but court papers filed by the heirs of Malcolm X in Manhattan court could delay or even prevent publication.