Survey: Three-Fourths of African Americans Believe Nation of Islam Killed Malcolm X

16 Apr

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World – Scholarship in Action 

According to a recent survey conducted by, three out of four African Americans (76.8%) believe that the Nation of Islam was behind the assassination of Malcolm X. Additionally, two-thirds of the respondents (63.3%) believe that the government played some role in the assassination, by either being directly involved or helping someone else to kill Malcolm.

The results of the survey are interesting in light of the book written by the late Manning Marable, the Columbia University Professor who died shortly before the release of his book. Marable goes into detail about the life of Malcolm X, elaborating on the role that was allegedly played by Nation of Islam leadership.

One interesting point of the survey is that in spite of the fact that the majority of the respondents believe that the Nation of Islam played a role in Malcolm’s assassination, they still hold a relatively favorable opinion about the relevance of the Nation of Islam within black America. When asked “Do you consider the Nation of Islam to be a positive and productive component of the African American community?” over half of the respondents (57.7%) said “yes.” Only 15.8% said “no,” and the remainder said “I’m not sure.”

The survey results seem to imply that most black folks see a similar vision to the one that Spike Lee communicated in his powerful film, “Malcolm X,” made in 1992. In a 60-Minutes Interview in 2000, Louis Farrakhan said this regarding Malcolm’s assassination: "I may have been complicit in words that I spoke", he said. "I acknowledge that and regret that any word that I have said caused the loss of life of a human being."

Marable goes on to argue that there are many inaccuracies regarding exactly who shot Malcolm. He says that the man who pulled the trigger was never charged, and that one of the men who served time for the murder wasn’t even at the scene of the crime. He also says that the greatest beneficiary of Malcolm’s assassination was Louis Farrakhan, who was a disciple of Malcolm’s during his time with the organization.

There doesn’t appear to be much controversy regarding who killed Malcolm, the evidence seems to point toward the involvement of Nation of Islam leadership. The controversy is greatest when it comes to the nature of Malcolm’s life, his sexual orientation and other mysteries that may never be fully-resolved. What remains clear, however, is that the black community still has a tremendous amount of love for both the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X, and this unfortunate conflict doesn’t change that fact.


Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.


6 Responses to “Survey: Three-Fourths of African Americans Believe Nation of Islam Killed Malcolm X”

  1. WizardG April 16, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    The FBI, CIA and other Government sanctioned agencies or ‘suited thugs’ if you will, have been widely known and well documented for infiltrating targeted organizations etc. If they don’t actually get into an organization they are probing or trying to destroy, they use people who are already in these organizations by threat or pay.
    So if ignorant people don’t understand how our ‘black’ leaders and others are murdered it’s understandable because they believe the unbelievable and disbelieve the believable. Go figure!
    So yes it is highly likely that moles, instigators, black ops agents, undercover FBI or Police department etc. conspired to kill Malcolm X. The Elite and their cohorts are the same group who send in CIA, FBI or special ops or whatever, to take down a Jean Betrand Aristide, or kill a Saddam playing card face or whatever! They have all of the cards but all we are shouted down about is a ‘race’ card we are always accused of playing! They have a license to kill and Africans are at the top of their lists, so don’t be to powerful in their eyes, and don’t cause a situation that may affect their money intake, or you to, will find yourself supposedly shot down by some of your own. Everything the ‘white’s’ in power say in this country is full of crap, yet people continue to believe them. They even put a ‘black’ person in a position of pseudo-power and people refuse to see through the ruse. What a smooth liar they chose too! Wow!

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