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Malcolm X Assassinated At The Audubon Ballroom In 1965

773_160Malcolm X, Black Nationalist leader and civil rights activists, is killed as he was about to address his followers. This happened a week after his Queens home was firebombed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 10:03 AM

Malcolm X is removed on stretcher from Audubon Ballroom.

(Originally published by the Daily News on Feb. 22, 1965. This story was written by John Mallon, Henry Machirella and Leeds Moberley.)

A week after he was fire-bombed out of his Queens home, Black Nationalist leader Malcolm X was shot to death shortly after 3 P.M. yesterday as he started to address a Washington Heights rally of some 400 of his devoted followers.

Three other men were wounded in the wild burst of firing from at least three weapons – a .38 and a .45 automatic pistol and a sawed-off shotgun – although only the shotgun was recovered. One of the wounded was identified by witnesses as one of the killers, but the role of the others was not clear. Nor was it established how any of them got their wounds.

Police believed the murder detail consisted of at least five men, and every available witness was being questioned last night at the Wadsworth Ave. station.

Malcolm’s followers were quick to accuse the Black Muslims, whom he had blamed for the bombing of his home. Half a dozen of his bodyguards were reported last night to be en route to Chicago to wreak vengeance on Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Black Muslims. Police were unable to confirm the report but an alert was out.

Denies That Black Muslims Are Responsible

Elijah’s New York spokesman, James X, denied the Black Muslims were responsible for the bombing.

Malcolm’s wife, Betty Shabazz, said last night at a brief press conference in George’s Nightspot, 103-04 Astoria Blvd., East Elmhurst, Queens, that her husband “knew he would be killed some day.” But she only shook her head when newsmen asked who the killers were. She also said that although she was present when the assassins struck, she did not see the shooting – which contradicted earlier reports.

Meanwhile, as a precaution against possible clashes between the Muslims and Malcolm’s Afro-American Union – which he set up when he broke with the Muslims last year – the police asked the Muslims to close their Harlem mosques last night, including Mosque No. 7 at 102 W. 116th St., where Malcolm used to be the head man. The Muslims complied.

Scene of the assassination was the Audubon Ballroom at 166th St. and Broadway. An introductory speaker who immediately preceded Malcolm on the rostrum had just told the faithful:

“Malcolm is a man who would give his life for you. There aren’t many men who would lay down their lives for you.”

Then Malcolm stepped forward to a thunderous ovation. When the cheering died out, he spoke three words – “Brothers and Sisters” – and got no further.

Scuffle Breaks Out At Back of Hall

New York Daily News published this on Feb. 22, 1965.
New York Daily News published this on Feb. 22, 1965.

Witnesses reported that a scuffle, apparently a diversionary maneuver, broke out in the back of the hall, and at the same time, two men, both about 5 feet 6, arose in the audience and moved briskly down the aisle toward the stage. Then a third man came running after them.

“Just a minute, brother,” Malcolm said, and the next instant the place was pandemonium. A phalanx of bodyguards was ranged in front of their leader, facing the audience, but they had no time to intercept the gunman. The men opened fire from a distance of about eight feet; the terrified faithful dropped to the floor as bullets whizzed and ricocheted, and Malcolm X fell mortally wounded.

When the shooting stopped and the men started out, the crowd, went into action. Police arrived just in time to rescue them from a howling mob of about 150 who caught them as they reached the street and, amid screams of “Kill them! Kill them!” were punching and pummeling them unmercifully.

Malcolm, a 39-year-old 6-footer with a slim athletic build, was wheeled on a stretcher bed to the Vanderbilt Clinic of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, 200 feet away, but attempts to revive him were futile and he was pronounced dead at 3:30 P.M.

A hospital spokesman, reporting that Malcolm had been shot several times in the chest and face, said he was “medically dead” when he reached the clinic’s third-floor emergency room.

Because of expected heightened tension between the warring Black Nationalist groups – Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity and Elijah Muhammad’s Chicago-based Black Muslims – Police Commissioner Murphy ordered extra police and mobile units into the area.


Thomas Hagan, 22, struggles with police who take him from the scene outside the ballroom where Malcolm X was shot and killed in New York. Hagan, was one of three gunmen who shot Malcolm X as he began a speech at Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom.

Ever since Malcolm X defected from the Black Muslims a year ago, he has been charging the Muslims with plotting to kill him.

A week ago yesterday, when he and his family were fire-bombed out of the East Elmhurst house, he intimated the job was done by the Black Muslims.

The Black Muslims said Malcolm X had done the bombing himself in a grab for publicity.

Moments before the shooting two radio patrolmen were talking outside the hall of a sergeant. Moments after the shots rang out from the hall, the doors burst open, the policemen said, and two dozen screaming persons emerged, on the heels of two men. The mob screamed, “Kill them, don’t let them get away.”

The two men, [African-Americans], were overtaken by the shouting mob. Both were taking a beating when the cops moved in and rescued them. The men were put into a police car and rushed from the scene.

Alarm Sent Out For 1963 Oldsmobile


Malcolm X lies mortally wounded on the stage of the Audubon Ballroom after his assassin struck. His followers try to comfort him. Autopsy revealed that he died from shotgun wounds to the heart.

The shots and shouts also were heard by Sgt. Alvin Aranoff and Patrolman Louis Angelos, both of the W. 152d St. precinct, who were driving by.

They saw that the mob, which had now swelled to more than 100, was beating and stomping a third man, later identified as Thomas Hagan, 22, who had a bullet wound in the leg.

The crowd was shouting, “Kill him, kill him. He’s the one who shot Malcolm.”

As the cops tried to rescue Hagan, the mob turned on them. Aranoff backed them off by firing a shot in the air, then he and the patrolman whisked the wounded man to the Wadsworth St. station house.

The suspect would say nothing other than to give his name and age. Who had shot him and whether he was one of Malcolm’s followers or one of the assassins could not be learned. A loaded .45 clip and $30 were found in his pockets.

He was taken to Jewish Memorial Hospital, at 196th St. and Broadway, where each of two persons who witnessed the shooting said, when asked if Hagan was the killer, “I think he is.”


Followers tend to Malcolm X as he lies mortally wounded on the stage of the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem after being shot on Feb. 21, 1965.

Hagan later was transferred to the Bellevue Hospital prison ward.

The other two men rescued by the cops were taken to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, where they were identified as Willie Harris, and William Parker, of 23-05 30th Ave., Astoria, Queens.

A short time after the shooting, police sent out an alarm for a 1963 blue Oldsmobile with license number-1 G 2220. It was learned the car was registered in the name of Muslim Mosque, 23-11 97th St. East Elmhurst.

The address is that of the house where Malcolm X and his family were routed from their beds by Molotov cocktails last week. In the past week Malcolm X had moved out after being ordered evicted. The house had been a subject of dispute between the rival black nationalist groups since Malcolm X defected from the Muslims.

After the hail of bullets, Malcolm X was placed on a stretcher. A rolling bed was brought from Columbia-Presbyterian and he was wheeled 200 yards diagonally across Broadway to the emergency room.

Wife is Hysterical: Photographers Threatened

This is the Audubon ballroom in upper Harlem, New York, after it was roped off by police following the assassination of Malcolm X, February 21, 1965. The civil rights leader was standing at the podium on stage in the background.AL BURLEIGH/ASSOCIATED PRESS

This is the Audubon ballroom in upper Harlem, New York, after it was roped off by police following the assassination of Malcolm X, February 21, 1965. The civil rights leader was standing at the podium on stage in the background.

He was followed by his weeping hysterical wife and a group of his closest followers. When photographers sought to take pictures of Mrs. Malcolm X, the Black Nationalists moved toward the lensmen and yelled, “Put them down.”

Mrs. Malcolm X and a small group got into Malcolm’s white Dodge and drove to the hospital. They were there when the pronouncement came that Malcolm X was dead.

The body later was transferred to the City Morgue.

Malcolm X’s lawyer, Assemblyman Percy Sutton, said Malcolm X’s wife – whom he referred to as Sister Betty – had reported that her husband’s car and briefcase were missing. It was not known from where they disappeared.

The wife, he said, was staying with friends in Queens. He described Malcolm X as “practically destitute” and uninsured.

Deputy Detective Inspector Thomas Renaghan, in charge of the Sixth Division, said that Malcolm was shot at close range with both .45 and .38 pistols.

This is an exterior view of the Audubon Ballroom on 166th Street at Broadway in the Harlem section of Manhattan, where black Muslim leader Malcolm X was assassinated as he addressed a rally on Feb. 21, 1965.ANONYMOUS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

This is an exterior view of the Audubon Ballroom on 166th Street at Broadway in the Harlem section of Manhattan, where black Muslim leader Malcolm X was assassinated as he addressed a rally on Feb. 21, 1965.

Immediately after the shots were fired at Malcolm, someone dashed up the center aisle, firing additional shots. Police said they were not able to determine immediately whether that person was an assailant or a follower of Malcolm chasing the assassins.

A spent bullet was found in the hallway leading to the street.

Four Guards Standing Just Below Platform

Police said that four of Malcolm’s guards were standing just below the platform when he was hit. They were among the two dozen screaming persons who chased the attackers into the street and started tearing them apart.

Describing the scene, Acting Chief Inspector Harry Taylor of Manhattan North, said, “He had just walked up to the stage, raised his hand in Muslim greeting and said: ‘Salaam, Aleikem.’ (Peace be with you.) There was scuffling in the ballroom.” The shooting followed.

Police found a sawed-off shotgun behind the stage of the ballroom. Both the stock and barrel had been shortened. The weapon was wrapped in a man’s dark gray jacket. It was not known whether the shogun had been used in the shooting.


Malcolm X’s widow Betty Shabazz leaves morgue with attorney Percy Sutton and undertaker Joseph Hall after identifying husband’s body.

Commenting on the fatal gunning of the Black Nationalist leader, Sanford Garelick, assistant chief police inspector in charge of the Central Office of Bureaus and Squads, said:

“This is the result, it would seem, of a long-standing feud between the followers of Elijah Muhammad, head of the Black Muslims, and the people who broke away from him, headed by Malcolm X.”

Seeking Shelter From Assailants

The Malcolm X feared for his life was evident in his actions of Saturday. Apparently seeking to hide from any assailants, he checked into the New York Hilton shortly after 4 P.M. He was accompanied by two [African-American] men.

Taking the $18-a-day Room 1206, he registered as M. Shabazz, of 2090 Seventh Ave., which is the address of Harlem’s Hotel Theresa. He said he would stay at the Hilton for two days.

At 10 P.M. three [African-American] men showed up in the lobby and started to question a bellhop about Malcolm X’s whereabouts.

Receiving no information, they stayed around for an hour. The bellhop alerted the hotel’s security men, and the three were closely watched until they left.

At 7 A.M. yesterday [African-American] employees arriving at the hotel were questioned about the location of Malcolm X’s room by a [African-American] man. The questioner got no information.

The Infamous Jamal Bryant Full Sermon: “I’m My Enemies Worst Nightmare”

I am sure all of you have heard about Reverend Jamal Bryant’s remark about “ho’s” from the pulpit, which appeared at the time out of bounds. In fact, I myself reblogged the social media news flash to which I regret. First, let me say I have no attachment to this guy but was drawn into something that did a disservice to this man’s message and for that I wish to offer an apology to Pastor Bryant and those who follow him.

I don’t want to sound arrogant and I don’t often apologize for much, but in this situation, after doing some research, I found the entire thirty minute sermon. What I discovered when taken in context – that sentence became irrelevant! I should not have followed the social media craze which was more than anything media distortion. Therefore, I offer a sincere apologizes to this man. I have added the full sermon, which had a more powerful and meaningful message.

I read somewhere that forgiveness is mine saith the Lord. Therefore, I judge not this man for any of his indiscretions; for that is his cross to bear. Right is right and the media craze was wrong – this time! He who is without sin case the first stone! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Listen and see for yourself.

Minus One: The Drew Smith Series

About the Book

book coverMinus One the Drew Smith Series prequel takes us back when the attorney launches his legal career.  Before the ink is dry on his license to practice law Drew Smith finds himself at the center of a murder mystery.  The recent law school graduate works as a hotel concierge and befriends two bellmen an Arab and a Latino, Medhat and Julio.  Like the three musketeers they bond in a fraternal friendship put to the test when Medhat is kidnapped after running up a drug tab he can’t pay. 

Rescued by Drew and Julio, Medhat then becomes the prime suspect in a string of murders.  Driven by their romantic entanglements the attorney is captivated with a pretty Latina whose father objects to her dating a Black man. Julio and his Filipina love find themselves expecting, and Medhat’s passion for blondes gets him snared in a femme fatale’s net. Minus One captures Drew Smith’s evolution from youthful indiscretion to a professional burdened with seriousness of purpose.

About The Author

picNorwood Holland is a freelance writer, lawyer, and author of the Drew Smith legal thriller series based on the capers of an urban trial attorney.  He is a graduate of Howard University School of Law with a bachelor’s degree in English from Fisk University where he studied under the renowned Harlem Renaissance author Arna Bontemps.  Holland favors D.C.’s local color in his fiction and currently writes the blog editorialindependence.com devoted to promoting independent authors among other things.

He has served in several government agencies including the National Labor Relations Board and a number of Washington’s top national law firms.  In the mid 90s Holland began freelancing for the local media.  Some of his credits include The Writer Magazine, the Examiner, and Black Literature Magazine.  Minus One follows up on the success of Sleepless Nights, the first in the Drew Smith Series.

Intimate Conversation with Norwood Holland

Welcome Norwood, Take us into the main character of Minus One?

My main character is the protagonist Drew Smith.  He’s an urban criminal law attorney and though he is my favorite he is not the most popular among my readers.  Most prefer his sidekick Julio.  I like Drew because he so complex.  Sometimes even though I created him I can’t even explain him.  In my latest release Minus One, readers or often frustrated and confused at why Drew let’s himself be manipulated by his new buddies Medhat and Julio, but Drew wants to accepted.  And Medhat is by nature a manipulator.  Readers expect Drew an alpha male to be in complete control but the book starts out with Julio and Medhat playing him for a fool.  But the situation evolves and reader has to move on and accept Drew’s behavior.  In the end, we see Drew is no fool and allowing himself to being manipulated is all part of his continuing education.

Drew is by far the smartest and as suave and charismatic as his two wingmen, Julio and Medhat.  Truthfully I love them all like a father I can’t favor one son over another.

Norwood, What Inspired you to write Minus One?

What inspired the story was a fierce argument I witnessed between the real life Medhat and Julio.  Even back then I knew their relationship had the makings of good story.  So I would say the characters of Julio and Medhat were inspired by a real life buddies Medhat and Julio, but that’s as far as the comparison goes.  I can’t emphasize enough that this is a work of fiction.  The novel has some unrestrained and indulgent sexual scenes all of which are a figment of my imagination.  I don’t want readers to get the wrong idea.  All the romantic relationships are mixed, racially and culturally, but the only one, Drew’s relationship with Nina is affected by racism.  The Latina’s father objects to her dating a black man.  The multicultural setting provides the book’s background yet at the dawn of 21st century race remains a major obstacle only for the Black man.  In addition to the suspense of solving the murder I think the reader will find interest in Drew’s reaction to and coping with the situation.

Tell us about your next release.

Snakehead is a story that deals with human trafficing and a corrupt F.B.I. agent.  The story was inspired by the headlines of two actual events (1) the sinking of Golden Venture, a ship loaded with human cargo that ran aground near New York City in 1993. Passengers had paid at least $30,000 each to be brought to the U.S. from China’s Fujian Province, expecting to arrive indebted but unnoticed.  The second event was the murder of Eric Robert Wone.  A young American attorney of Chinese descent who was mysterious murdered in DC.  The two real life events are unrelated but both involve the Chinese immigrant community.  I got creative in linking the two with a corrupt F.B.I. agent who has his own agenda.  When Drew Smith’s law school pal the Chinese-American is mysteriously kill his efforts to track down the killer are thwarted by the F.B.I. agent manipulating the legal system.

Connect with the Author

Email: norwoodholland@aim.com
Website:  http://www.norwoodholland.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/Norwood22
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/norwood.holland

To purchase book: http://www.amazon.com/Norwood-Holland/e/B004Q26D4U/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1365085906&sr=8-1

Tour Schedule: http://wnlbooktours.com/norwood-holland/


Save Our Children

1We the people are focused on the upcoming trial in Florida for the murder of Trayvon Martin. As this process begins hold your children, look at them and pray that something like this never happens to them.  In whatever way you can – let’s show our support and pray for Justice.

WE MUST REMEMBER AND NEVER FORGET!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

This video dates back to a month after the shooting with raw emotion from Trayvon parents. Put yourself in the shoes…


Covert Conspiracy Against Tavis Smiley

tavis-cornelThis is one of the few times I will ask for your opinion. What say you???

I am not a hater, by nature, I admire any person of color who is successful and has the courage to champion African America issues. Brother Smiley was one who fell into that category. Then he took a trip to a place I don’t understand. We’ve learned that Tavis believes he’s so important that the President of the United States is engaged in a covert conspiracy against him. In some of the reports he suggests there’s race at play in the very question and that he, Smiley, sees himself as a political martyr.

Most African Americans know that the president, we so strongly support, has not done too much for black people specifically. We had strong hopes that our issues would finally be corrected by him with the stroke of a pen. Most African Americans can see that he has been the most maligned person on the planet and that there is an element, from day one, who wanted and is doing everything possible to see our president fail. We expect James Crow, Esq. and his follower will and do create conspiracy’s – but not from Tavis!

There are reports that “Smiley told the Associated Press that members of the Obama administration, whom he didn’t identify, have successfully convinced sponsors to stop funding his ventures, including his anti-poverty initiatives.” The great Michael Cottman said in his commentary on black America Web that “the mere fact that Tavis failed to identify exactly who in the Obama administration “convinced sponsors” to stop funding his ventures, and exactly which sponsors he’s talking about, is particularly telling… If he had any evidence whatsoever to support his allegation he’d be holding one of his PBS “gibfests,” complete with “expert analysis” by the prince of gesticular verbosity, Dr. Cornel West, pointing his finger at the president, and condemning the people in the administration who were involved.”

I agree with Cottman that if he produced evidence of such a conspiracy or something to support his claim it would be a gift from God to Tavis’s credibility and by not doing so makes a reasonable person wonder “What’s the Deal”. Can you imagine what Darrell Issa could do with something like that in his House Oversight Kangaroo Committee, particularly when the GOP is on a presidential witch hunt?

Could this be something as remote as ego resulting from the president not attending the “State of the Black Union” hosted by Tavis during the presidents first presidential campaign? Or as Tavis has complained all over the media that “For the very first time in my career I haven’t been invited to the White House”. Or he have such a huge ego that made him think that he had enough clout in the Black community to challenge the first Black president of the United States.

The fact is Brother Tavis with two wars, the devastating weather events, the economy, the GOP, and frankly running the country; president Obama hasn’t given you a second thought since he’s been in office. As Eric Wattree wrote, and like just about everyone else in America, at least with good sense, could see that he doesn’t have to. Tavis and his sidekick Dr. West are making themselves look like perfect fools on their own accord, so the president doesn’t have to say, or do a thing.

Eric Wattree also wrote that “Tavis and West have become the new Amos & Andy of the Black community, and their trajectory is identical. They not only fail to represent Black interests, but they’ve become a major liability and embarrassment to many in the community.” Wattree wrote on another occasion that “The only thing that Tavis and West have to sell is the Black community, and once they lose that, which they’re currently hemorrhaging, they become a liability rather than an asset…”

When was the last time you watched the Tavis Smiley Show? The problem you face Brother Smiley is that you have no agenda and have nothing to offer. In other words you have become irrelevant? And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

What say you???

Michele Bachmann Quits!!!

6New sources are reporting that Tea Party firebrand Quits. Bachmann said, “rest assured, this decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff.”

This might be clearly understood by Bachmann, but not by the FBI, the Congressional Ethics Office, the special prosecutor in Iowa, the FEC, and all the other agencies that are investigating her 2012 presidential campaign.

The media has taken the same excuse that they crafted for Sarah Palin, that she was an undisciplined conservative star who flamed out, and glued it on to Michele Bachmann. The problem is that in Bachmann’s case it doesn’t fit. It isn’t a surprise that Rep. Bachmann would deny everything surrounding the ethics investigations in her video. That is exactly what she is supposed to do. She is not going to admit that she is quitting because of allegations of misuse of funds, theft, and money laundering, among other crimes.

Michele Bachmann didn’t choose to quit on a whim. She quit as a preemptive strike to stop this scandal from either costing her the election next year, or bringing her down later. All together now -YEAH!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Justice For Our Child Trayvon

trayvonIn two weeks, June 10, 2013, the second degree murder trial in Florida for George Zimmerman will begin. Today, the defense was in court where the Zimmerman camp asked a judge to delay the trial, which the judge denied. Other issues relating to admissible evidence was also heard relating to the murder of seventeen year old Martin’s past with much of it will not be admissible.

The ruling was among several important decisions by Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson during a two-hour hearing this morning at the Seminole County Courthouse. The judge ruled for the state on several key issues: The defense may not bring up Trayvon’s past marijuana use at trial, his school suspensions or alleged participation in fights, without clearing several legal hurdles and another ruling granting permission.

Mark O’Mara, a lawyer for Mr. Zimmerman, argued in court that Mr. Martin’s drug use could have made him more aggressive and paranoid, traits that could have prompted him to attack Mr. Zimmerman.

“All of that fits in squarely to what the defense is going to present: That George Zimmerman was put in the position that he had to act in self-defense,” Mr. O’Mara argued. “How could you keep us from arguing that?”

Judge Nelson replied: “The rules of evidence keep you from doing it.”

It is shameful, yet expected that the defense would put the child on trial. When it was Martin who received the ultimate injustice – DEATH – but then we have seen this before! Just remember the Emmitt Till case and the murders of Bunchie Carter, Fred Hampton, James Bird and countless others where justice was denied.

Let’s support the Martin family as we pray for justice. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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