Talk:Malcolm X

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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.

Sex with other men -- recent changes[edit]

Over the past few days, Mccar408 has made several changes to the article to reflect what they believe Manning Marable's biography says about Malcolm Little's sexual experiences with other men -- while acknowledging they have no idea what Bruce Perry's biography says on the subject.

Sorry, Mccar408, but using one source and ignoring the other is not appropriate. Please use your favorite search engine and search for "Bruce Perry Malcolm" before you change the article again. Also, please read the multiple past discussions on the subject in the talk page archive.

Please discuss proposed changes to the article on this page, especially if you don't have access to the sources. I do have access to the sources, and I'm always happy to share. Thank you. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 04:47, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

McCar408 speaking: The issue I have is not with the claim that ONE biography says that Malcolm X had sex with multiple men. As I acknowledged, I haven't seen the Perry biography. The issue I have is with the claim that "recent biographies" claim that Malcolm X had sex with multiple men. Recent biographies DO NOT claim that Malcolm X had sex with multiple men. Marable refers to ONLY ONE man. This is my issue. The easiest way to correct this is to say, as I did, that "Recent biographies indicate that he had sex with AT LEAST one man." This is accurate. Another way to correct this is to first cite Marable and then cite Perry, saying that ONE source says he had sex with one man, and ONE OTHER source says he had sex with multiple men. But you can't say that "recent biographies" claim that Malcolm X had sex with multiple men, because the two "recent biographies" cited SAY NO SUCH THING. In sum: I don't care how you correct the statement, but it has to be corrected; recent biographies DO NOT claim that he had sex with multiple men. Don't say that they did. You're being sloppy! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mccar408 (talkcontribs) 01:30, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
I assume you have seen the Marable biography? You're misrepresenting that as well. From page 66:
The revelation of his involvement with Lennon produced much speculation about Malcolm's sexual orientation, but the experience appears to have been limited. There is no evidence from his prison record in Massachusetts or from his personal life after 1952 that he was actively homosexual. More credible, perhaps, is Rodnell Collins's insight about his uncle: "Malcolm basically lived two lives." When he was around Ella, "he enthusiastically participated in family picnics and family dinners. ... He saved some of his money to send to his brothers and sisters in Lansing." But in his Detroit Red life, he participated in prostitution, marijuana sales, cocaine sessions, numbers running, the occasional robbery, and, apparently, paid homosexual encounters.
From page 506 (footnote to page 65):
Bruce Perry's Malcolm asserts that on several occasions in 1944–45 Malcolm engaged in homosexual acts for payment.... Perry also cites sexual encounters in Boston in 1945 where a wealthy white man named William Paul Lennon paid Malcolm "to disrobe him, place him on his bed, sprinkle him with talcum powder, and massage him until he reached his climax." ... Perry's claims, when published in 1991, generated a firestorm of criticism from those devoted to Malcolm's iconic image, who pointed out that his only credible source for these escapades was "Shorty" Jarvis. ... Since the publication of Perry's book, other evidence has surfaced that supports his general assertions. For example, according to Rodnell Collins, Malcolm revealed details to Ella Collins about "a business deal he and Malcolm Jarvis had with an elderly, wealthy white millionaire, named Paul Lennon, who would pay them to rub powder over his body."
Still think Marable says it was "only sex with one man"? — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:32, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

McCar408 here: Yes! Of course that's what I say!! That's exactly what Marable says! Not only does Marable NOT say that Malcolm had sex with multiple men, but he explicitly says, in the passage you have quoted, that "the experience appears to have been limited" and that there "is no evidence" in the places where someone would expect to find it of there having been other men. In the endnote on page 506—endnote, not a footnote, and not even included in the current citation—Marable acknowledges Perry, and says that "other evidence has surfaced that supports his general assertions." But in the very next sentence, Marable explains what he means by "general assertions": i.e., the general assertion that Malcolm had sex with AT LEAST ONE man, Paul Lennon. THIS IS NOT A DEBATE! I don't care how you fix the problem I've identified, but it's a problem, and it needs to be fixed. Recent biographies DO NOT indicate that Malcolm had sex with men (plural). I'm sorry if this hurts your pride, but you need to look at this rationally and either accept one of the solutions I have proposed or find one of your own. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mccar408 (talkcontribs) 16:38, 15 January 2016 (UTC)

You seem to have trouble accepting the plain meaning of Marable's words. He says that Perry's assertions have been supported, in general, by evidence that has surfaced since 1991, including the book by Rodnell Collins, son of Ella Little-Collins and nephew of Malcolm X.
What the article said before, "according to recent biographies, he also occasionally had sex with other men, usually for money", is true. What you've written, "according to recent biographies, he also had sex with at least one other man, William Paul Lennon, evidently for money", only tells part of the story. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:02, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
McCar408: Again, this is not a debate. The "general" aspect of Perry's assertions which Marable says has been supported is that Malcolm X had a relationship with ONE man: William Paul Lennon. Marable cites no source, other than Perry, indicating that Malcolm had sex with more than one man. The Collins book, according to Marable's citation, mentions only ONE man. Can you name one single biography other than the Perry source which indicates that Malcolm had sex with "men" plural? If you can cite a second "recent biography" which says that Malcolm X had sex with multiple "men," then I have no problem with the version of the statement you want here. This is purely a question of citations: you haven't cited sources to back up your claim. I don't doubt the claim; I just know for a certain fact that the sources cited DO NOT substantiate the claim. Marable does NOT say Malcolm had sex with "men." Period. No debate. No question. Only two sources are cited: if only one of them says something, you can't say that recent biographies (plural) say it. This is elementary grammar, not hermeneutics. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mccar408 (talkcontribs) 03:14, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
Here are two more recent biographies, bringing the total (that I know of) to four:
  • Collins, Rodnell P. (1998). Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X. Secaucus, N.J.: Birch Lane Press. ISBN 978-1-55972-491-3. 
  • Jarvis, Malcolm "Shorty"; with Paul D. Nichols (2008). West, Cornel R., ed. The Other Malcolm—"Shorty" Jarvis. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-4057-3. 
— Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk
Malik, perhaps if you could post some excerpts from these bios that support the plurality thing? Rumiton (talk) 12:51, 21 January 2016 (UTC) I am not sure the above excerpts are conclusive. "...apparently, paid homosexual encounters" seems hearsayish and does not necessarily imply (to me) more than one man. Rumiton (talk) 14:31, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Hi Rumiton. I'll post some more excerpts this weekend. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:50, 23 January 2016 (UTC)


We really need an article titled Assassination of Malcolm X. After all, we have such articles, and even categories, for Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, etc.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 20:52, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

We would need to hive off a new article if the assassination info were crowding out the other sections, but that does not seem to be the case to me. It all seems fairly balanced. Rumiton (talk) 10:27, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Is there credible evidence?[edit]

The following message was copied from User talk:Malik Shabazz:

There is no credible evidence that Malcolm X was a homosexual and/or engaged in homosexual activities. This amounts to slandering the deceased. XanaduFilm (talk) 05:20, 18 January 2016 (UTC) XanaduFilm

At least four recent biographies of Malcolm X say that as a young man, Malcolm Little engaged in sex with other men. Wikipedia is reporting this fact (that recent biographies make this assertion) without making a judgment whether the underlying assertion about Malcolm Little is true or false. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 14:51, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
How is this slander? Apparently, Malcolm X did what he had to do as a young man to survive under very adverse circumstances. In my opinion, this is a strength. As has been stated, this statement is well sourced and shouldn't be a problem. Glennconti (talk) 22:08, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
Agree with the above 2. It is not our job to look for evidence or to decide whether it is credible. We just look for sources and decide whether they are reputable. Rumiton (talk) 10:31, 19 January 2016 (UTC)