Charley Wynkoop

University of Rhode Island

English & Secondary Education


Mentor: Bill Ross, Ph.D., Dept. Head of Special Collections, UNH Library

The Assassination of the Image of Malcolm X

Thirty-five years ago Malcolm X was a prominent figure in the black community as well as in the Civil Rights Movement. During the years of 1960-1965 the mainstream media corrupted the image of Malcolm X which in turn lead to the total decimation of his vision and impression upon the black community. Malcolm's insights towards race and civil right in the previous years were displayed in a militaristic mindset and a "by any means necessary" perspective. After his pilgrimage in 1964 his view of civil rights had rapidly transformed into a more complete view of civil rights.

My project explores the image of Malcolm X as portrayed in the media during the years of 1960-1965. Malcolm had attained a stance that confused many people in the black community. His new beliefs also lit a controversial fire in the area of his connection to the Muslim Faith and Elijah Mohammed. My research addresses issues concerning the Civil Rights Movement, his connection with Elijah Mohammed, and the effects of the media's portrayal of Malcolm.

My primary method of research for my project will consist of careful examination of texts concerning Malcolm X and his views of racism, civil rights, and human rights. I refer to works of such authors as Alex Haley, Earl Ofar Hutchinson, George Breitman, and Huey P. Newton. My research methods will include interdisciplinary subjects such as history and philosophy. I will extrapolate meaning from current periodicals such as the New York Times, Time, Ebony, and Newsweek during the years of 1960-65 to gain a sense of awareness of the time that Malcolm thrived in and the tension that surrounded him. Resources for this research project will include African American texts, newspaper articles, magazine articles, autobiographies, philosophical theories, and critical theories.

While history ignores the views of Malcolm after his pilgrimage to Mecca, I delve into this topic in great detail to uncover all that I can. My project contributes to the knowledge of others and hopefully provides a new perspective on the complex man among men known as Malcolm X.

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