Think you know Malcolm X? Newfound texts may change that

Man wearing glasses is surrounded by reporters holding microphones.

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With the analysis, research, and preservation of undiscovered texts from the renowned author Alex Haley, students and faculty members of the Department of English and Africana Studies collectively lent a hand in the emergence of new work on Malcolm X.

Known for his 1976 book “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” Alex Hayley developed a direct relationship with Malcolm X with interviews while he was composing The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which was published well before his acclaimed novel.

Originating as an undergraduate course led by Assistant Professor of English Amy Earhart, the project titled “Alex Haley’s ’The Malcolm X I Knew‘ and Note cards from the Autobiography of Malcolm X” digitizes rare texts that were discovered at Cushing Memorial Library including an essay that Haley published and his 74 note cards used in the composition of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

“Our special collections at the library offers some really nice Africana studies and black history material. Students were able to go over, look at this material, read through it, transcribed it, and do research on folks involved with the material. Cushing Library was very generous in the completion of the project. We were really lucky to be able to go in and allow our students to touch materials such as these,” said Earhart.

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