MALCOLM X (Photo courtesy Smithsonian Channel)

Black History Month isn’t complete without one’s knowledge of Malcolm X.

Some loved him, others despised him. What’s non-debatable was the impact he had during the Civil Rights Era in America.

The Smithsonian Channel will be showing “The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X” on Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. locally. It’s presented entirely through Malcolm X’s speeches, television newscasts, and rarely seen archival footage.

Comcast, Smithsonian Channel and the Heinz History Center partnered to present an advance screening of the documentary, in front of about 150 spectators on Feb. 7.

Those who watch the upcoming premiere on the Smithsonian Channel, Feb. 26, will be taken on Malcolm X’s journey from just after his incarceration, through his gaining popularity within in the Nation of Islam, the escalating conflicts with NOI leader Elijah Muhammad, to the episodes leading up to his death. Malcolm X died on this day (Feb. 21), 53 years ago, in New York City.

HERB BOYD, a celebrated author, educator, and journalist, said Malcolm X “was like a big brother to me, a mentor.” Boyd spoke at the advance screening of “The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X,” at the Heinz History Center, Feb. 7. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

After the film, author, educator and journalist Herb Boyd talked about his dealings with Malcolm X, whom he first met in the late 1950s in Detroit.

MALCOLM X, shown here speaking with reporters. (Photo courtesy Smithsonian Channel)

“Malcolm always taught us that if you really want to get into your history, that’s the best study you can have (an education),” Boyd told the audience.

“He knew…he said on more than one occasion that he was a walking dead man,” Boyd added, referencing the days after Malcolm X’s home was firebombed on Feb. 14, 1965.

Boyd told the audience that Malcolm X’s life and legacy is all around him, even to this day.

“Where I live in Harlem right now, I can look out my back window and see where Malcolm lived when he was 19 in Harlem, on 147th Street,” Boyd said. “Up the street from me is where Ossie Davis, there’s a church (Childs Memorial), where he delivered the eulogy there. Around the corner on St. Nicholas is where Jimmie’s Chicken Shack was, where Malcolm washed dishes with Redd Foxx.

“My personal contact with Malcolm,” Boyd added, “he was like a big brother to me, a mentor.”


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