Clayborne Carson

Nov 30, 2020

Malcolm X

The FBI File

Skyhorse 2012

This is a Special Series on Malcolm X and Black Nationalism. We delve into the background of Malcolm X's action and thought in the context of Black Nationalism, correcting the fundamentally mistaken notion that Malcolm X was a civil rights leader. He certainly did not see himself in that way, and explicitly argued otherwise. This helps us place the Afro-American struggle in its dimensions beyond the current American nation-state, including the Black Atlantic, and beyond.

Today, our guest is Clayborne Carson, author of Malcolm X: The FBI File, originally published in 1991, with the 2nd edition republished in 2012 by Skyhorse Publishing.

The FBI has made possible a reassembling of the history of Malcolm X that goes beyond any previous research. From the opening of his file in March of 1953 to his assassination in 1965, the story of Malcolm X’s political life is a gripping one.

Shortly after he was released from a Boston prison in 1953, the FBI watched every move Malcolm X made. Their files on him totaled more than 3,600 pages, covering every facet of his life. Viewing the file as a source of information about the ideological development and political significance of Malcolm X, historian Clayborne Carson examines Malcolm’s relationship to other African-American leaders and institutions in order to define more clearly Malcolm’s place in modern history.

With its sobering scrutiny of the FBI and the national policing strategies of the 1950s and 1960s, Malcolm X: The FBI File is one of a kind: never before has there been so much material on the assassination of Malcolm X in one conclusive volume.

Kirk Meighoo is a TV and podcast host, former university lecturer, author and former Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He hosts his own podcast, Independent Thought & Freedom, where he interviews some of the most interesting people from around the world who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas. You can find it in the iTunes Store or any of your favorite podcast providers. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you are an academic who wants to get heard nationally, please check out his free training at becomeapublicintellectual.com.

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Kirk Meighoo

Kirk Meighoo is Public Relations Officer for the United National Congress, the Official Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago. His career has spanned media, academia, and politics for three decades.

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