Columbia University to Create Malcolm X Research Archive

Article excerpt

NOTEWORTHY BRIEFS: Columbia University to Create Malcolm X Research Archive

Columbia University and the daughters of Malcolm X recently announced a project to archive the slain Black activist's personal papers and create an electronic version of his famous autobiography.

The project will also eventually include oral histories from 200 of Malcolm X's relatives and contemporaries, a new biography and a multi-volume collection of his speeches, essays and letters.

The project was announced on the eve of the 36th anniversary of his assassination. Malcolm X was gunned down in Harlem's Audubon Ballroom on Feb. 21, 1965, by three members of the Nation of Islam. In the audience were his four daughters and his wife, Betty Shabazz, who was pregnant with twin girls. Betty Shabazz died in 1997 of injuries from a fire set by a troubled grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, then 12.

One of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz's daughters, Ilyasah Shabazz, says the family intends to provide Columbia with her father's diary, letters and other personal effects.

The idea for the archive developed after some of the Shabazz daughters asked Manning Marable, director of Columbia's Institute for Research in African-American Studies, for help in organizing their parents' papers. …