Talk:Malcolm X

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Featured article Malcolm X is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 19, 2009.

fairy tale narratives don't belong on wikipedia[edit]

And they definitely should not be found in the lede. it's astonishing that no admin on this site gives a damn enough to do anything about this joke of a "featured article". There is no evidence his father was killed, nor any evidence the killers were "white racists". Even if it were the black legion and that rumor were true, he may have been killed for political reasons, in fact more likely than racial ones given the black legions target were almost all white and almost all due to political ideology. MX never said his father was killed by white racists, either. Period, full stop. Whatzinaname (talk) 10:00, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't have a lot of sources (others do) but I can find several instances of Malcolm X saying exactly that. Here's one. [1] And incidentally, a little more respect for an article that a number of people continue to work hard on would seem in order. Rumiton (talk) 10:55, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Whatzi's just lashing out -- he's at ANI right now for the kind of antics he pulled here a few months ago. [2] These issues were settled (see [3] and the section immediately following that one) -- no need to respond unless Whatzi offers an intelligible new argument. EEng (talk) 17:00, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Your youtube video does not say anything about "racist whites", sorry, do you have a hearing problem? a reading problem? Or is it a logic problem? black legion=/= the KKK =/= "racist whites". there is zero evidence that anyone killed MX's father, let along it was "racist whites". It's all pure fiction cooked up when MX was trying to change/create his image. Now wikipedia is nothing more than a propaganda site written by an MX publicist, or those who want to lionize him for whatever reasons. There is nothing respectable about fictitious propaganda Whatzinaname (talk) 22:43, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As seen in the links I gave earlier, and here, Whatzinaname is unable or unwilling to engage in fruitful discussion. As also mentioned, his problems in this regard are not confined to his activities on this article. I recommend that other editors simply ignore his posts, unless they miraculously become intelligible and offer something new beyond his claims at the discussion I previously linked. EEng (talk) 23:26, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Seems he does tend to lapse into hysteria, but his underlying point, which I would paraphrase as "Malcolm X never turned into Mother Teresa", is a worthy one. IMO the article right now is fairly balanced in that respect. Rumiton (talk) 00:41, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Malcolm X never turned into Mother Therasa: Well thank goodness for that! Just imagine WP:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Manning_naming_dispute with the Nation of Islam and the Catholic Church added to the mix! EEng (talk) 03:16, 1 February 2014 (UTC) BTW Rumiton, I've been meaning to say... this article remains on my watchlist so I see you beavering away day after day, but haven't had time to actually look. I see that Malik's on the case too, so between the two of you the article's in fine hands. Of course if you need my help (e.g. some troll shows up) just shout. EEng (talk) 03:16, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Later: Looks like I said almost exactly the same thing a month ago [4] -- first the memory goes. Some advice: When trolls visit my talk I leave their comments in place. Especially when they write in sentence fragments. EEng (talk)
why don't you two take it to your talk page(s) and engage in your usual intellectually bankrupt collusion.Whatzinaname (talk) 00:47, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Wait! Rumiton! There it is again! Did you hear it? Like... hot air escaping... EEng (talk) 03:16, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

If you do not think this should be a featured article then here are the steps to take.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 02:19, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 18 February 2014[edit]

would like to add on to occupation he was also a black millitant leader ₢₢₡₦−{{math|{{math|}}}} (talk) 19:18, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 20:39, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz[edit]

OK so Wikipedia is making a point that a person should be able to choose their own name, and calls its article on Bradley Manning "Chelsea Manning" despite what the rest of the world does. Shouldn't Malcolm X's article therefore be entitled "El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz"? Certainly nobody will know what Wikipedia is talking about, but either way, there should be consistency. DavidFarmbrough (talk) 10:57, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

WP:OTHERCRAP applies. Rumiton (talk) 11:41, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Rumors of MX's fathers death that deeply disturbed Malcolm x[edit]

There is now no mention of the rumors the swirled around at the time of MXs fathers death. I believe these were very traumatic to MX when he was young and impressionable. They may go a long way in explaining his early racist attitudes towards whites. If this connection can be worked back in somehow I think it is important by way of explanation. Glennconti (talk) 12:45, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Being bold I just made an edit. Please modify as necessary. Glennconti (talk) 12:54, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

That lead sentence[edit]

For those playing along at home, we're talking about some or all of this: "To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history." --EEng (talk)

Sorry I reverted without an edit summary, I pressed the wrong button. The sentence is not apprpriate because even if the main article supports it, it doesn't have to be in the lead. KonveyorBelt 23:26, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Nothing HAS to be in the lead. I would say that sentence is a pretty good summation of MX's reputation at his death, and the way it has evolved over the years. Rumiton (talk) 01:51, 26 February 2014 (UTC) Incidentally, WP:BRD stands for Bold (edit), Revert (the bold edit), Discuss. It is not Bold, Revert, Revert again, Discuss. Rumiton (talk) 01:59, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Konveyor Belt@ Can you point to anything in WP:LEAD that supports your ... unusual idea that the sentences are not appropriate? — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 01:33, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The material is absolutely appropriate for the lead, though I'd prefer to see attribution instead of the weasely "has been called". (It could be improved further by giving a greater sense of "arc" e.g. "During his life his admirers blah blah; while his detractors blah blah. Since his death, however, blah blah, so that today blah blah.")

I have a hunch, BTW, that strong sources can be found tracing the consolidation of his image as positive to publication of the autobio. If so (paging Dr. Malik... Dr. Malik to the sources, please!) then this definitely belongs in the article, possibly even the lead -- "During his life ... admirers, detractors ... However, his posthumous autobiography, which revealed blah blah, began a reevaluation blah blah which rapidly blah, so that today blah."

There -- I've done all the hard work. You guys just need to fill in the blanks. EEng (talk) 04:25, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

I agree with that, let the minor task of blank-filling-in begin forthwith. One point, though...I think this is one occasion when "he has been called" is not weasely. We are discussing his reputation, not inviting readers to accept that he IS one of the greatest and most influential of African Americans. That sentence is a fair summation of the Legacy section, which is well sourced. Rumiton (talk) 04:59, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
The phrase "has been called" makes it sound like that's the best characterization among others more lukewarm; if that were the case then an explicit in-text attribution (X has called him...) should be given, at least in the article body and maybe in the lead. Now, actually, I think it's a more widely held view rising to the level of "generally" or "widely considered" (perhaps "among historians of the period") and it's much stronger if the article can say that; however, for that we'll need a kind of super-source which convincingly surveys other authoratative sources. Here once again I've done all the hard work and someone just needs to fill in the blanks.
In the meantime, as it stands the lead has two "has been called"s -- for the man and for his book, and that really sounds awful even though they're paragraphs apart. Sorry the spirit doesn't move me to attack these myself, though as seen I'm whiling away part of Sunday wordsmithing elsewhere (and feel free to revert or otherwise do with it what you will, of course). EEng (talk) 18:56, 2 March 2014 (UTC)


The article points out that two affidavits were not considered sufficient to reopen the case, but apparently this is not unusal. "In American jurisprudence, under the rules for hearsay, admission of an unsupported affidavit as evidence is unusual..." Perhaps this article should refer to this to remove any suggestion of judicial prejudice? Or might that be seen as original research? Rumiton (talk) 01:40, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Actually, I've gone in the other direction and removed the not-reopened point. Including it implies faintly that it's a surprise or aberration that there was no new investigation (a vague concept anyway) and that's what you're trying to fix; if we just leave it out the reader will discern that the investigation was not reopened by the fact that nothing more is said about the matter.
I've also removed the detail that "affidavits" were involved -- most readers don't understand their technical significance anyway, and while in principle the solemnity of an affidavit adds to their reliability, in practice someone under life sentence has little to fear from a perjury charge.
EEng (talk) 04:25, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Claims of earlier attempts on MX's life[edit]

I found this on a website, no sources given: In 1958, New York detectives shot up Malcolm X’s office, for which the city settled with Malcolm in a $24 million lawsuit.

Malcolm X believed that U.S. Intelligence further set up his near-fatal poisoning in Cairo, Egypt in late July of 1964. Are these incidents verifiable? Rumiton (talk) 14:15, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Well, there are plenty of references for the 1958 incident, including The Portable Malcolm X Reader. Someone with Lexis access might find more. --jpgordon::==( o ) 15:11, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that. It's difficult to get any hard facts though. One source says he was awarded a "small settlement" out of court, another that he got $24 Million. That seems hard to accept, given that his widow was dependent on charity. Clarity, anyone? Rumiton (talk) 02:36, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

More Detail needed on his Early Experiences[edit]

While Malcolm X had grown up in a Baptist family, as you indicate, his experience with other Christians was wider. His mother had come from an Anglican (Episcopalian) background while he himself had been placed with a Seventh-Day Adventist family for awhile. Hence he had a broader experience of Protestant Christian variations than the article would indicate.

This issue is of PRIME importance when considering his conversion from NOI to 'standard' Islam (Sunni by default). Saudi and other Moslem leaders were falling over themselves to honor him when he traveled abroad, sparing no effort to retain him in the orthodox Moslem fold. After he was assassinated it became standard to claim that he had merely "converted to Islam" without any greater realization that, had he lived longer, he would soon have uncovered orthodox Islamic hypocrisies. After all, he was pretty good at uncovering those of the NOI and the Christianity he had grown up in and so can hardly be recruited as some yes-man mouthpiece for Saudi Arabian policies or even Islam generally! Such a position on Malcolm X, treating him as "just another Islamic convert", is merely one taken to trivialize and gloss over his understanding of deeper issues. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:41, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

OK, sounds good, and you know what comes next, don't you?...gimme the sources. Rumiton (talk) 11:16, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Moving substantive notes to their own section[edit]

As a demonstration, and subject to the approval of my valued fellow editors, I've taken any footnotes that had more than just the usual page-cite information, and moved them to a new Notes section of the article. The usual way of doing this would be to use < ref group=upper-alpha>note text</ref>. However, instead I've used the {{efn-ua}} template, which does the same thing, but allows < ref> to be nested within it. (You can't nest < ref> within < ref>.)

  • This diff [5] shows the transfer of notes to their own section
  • This diff [6] shows how a < ref> is inserted inside one of the notes.

Notice that the notes are called out in the article text with superscript letters e.g. [A] etc. instead of the usual [1][2] etc. I think this is a nice touch -- when the reader sees a letter instead of a number, he's signaled that this note doesn't have just the usual dreary page-number citations -- the letter means, "If you want to know more, read this note -- it has additional information."

Thoughts? EEng (talk) 18:33, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. I had been thinking about moving them myself. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 19:42, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I stand in bemused wonder at your virtuosity. Rumiton (talk) 12:43, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
To avoid injuries, admirers are traditionally advised to kneel in my presence: my brilliant intellect and scintillating personality can be dizzying, and falls have resulted. EEng (talk) 16:03, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
The power of your compassion, while to be expected of such a soul, is also profoundly edifying. Rumiton (talk) 17:10, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Enlightened self-interest and nothing more. My insurance carriers insisted. EEng (talk) 17:45, 5 March 2014 (UTC)