When the Word Is Given: A Report on Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and the Black Muslim World

By Louis E. Lomax | Go to book overview

1. MUHAMMAD AT ATLANTA

"Come and see and hear the most fearless black man in America today; the man who is going to defy the Ku Klux Klan!"

This is the way the Black Muslims billboarded Elijah Muhammad's now-famous "Atlanta Speech" of 1961. For when it was announced that Muhammad was to speak in Atlanta, the Klan issued a statement that they, too, would hold a rally and a march on the same day, at the same time. The Black Muslims' propaganda machinery went into action, and the Atlanta Speech was advertised as a major confrontation between Elijah and the Klan. Something a little different from that is what actually occurred.

Malcolm X flew into Atlanta several days before the scheduled meeting and began talks with police and other city officials. Malcolm was assured that the police would enforce law and order, that the Black Muslims could proceed with their meeting without fear of trouble from the Klan or anyone else.

Even so, the Black Muslims took advantage of every opportunity to dramatize their presence and activities.

-109-

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When the Word Is Given: A Report on Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and the Black Muslim World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 4
  • Contents 9
  • Introduction 11
  • Part One - The Coming of the Prophet 15
  • 1. Make It Plain, Mr. Minister! 17
  • 2. from Moses to Malcolm X 35
  • 3. the Nation of Islam 59
  • 4. the Black Muslims and the Negro Revolt 85
  • Part Two - The Prophet's Voice 107
  • 1. Muhammad at Atlanta 109
  • 2. Malcolm X at Harvard 130
  • 3. Malcolm X on "Unity" 149
  • 4. Malcolm X's "University Speech" 159
  • 5. Malcolm X at Queens College 172
  • 6. Malcolm X at Yale 179
  • A Summing-Up: Louis Lomax Interviews Malcolm X 197
  • Suggested Additional Reading 213
  • Index 215
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