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Extra info for Alex Haley: Author (Black Americans of Achievement)
Late into the night, the normally reticent minister would muse for hours on end about his proud, self-sacrificing mother, Louise, and his father, the Reverend Earl Little, a Baptist minister and social activist who, Malcolm X claimed, was murdered for his outspoken opinions on racial issues. As Haley listened in amazement, Malcolm X described his troubled, restless childhood in Lansing, Michigan, as Malcolm Little; his early days as a hipster in Boston; and his gradual descent into a life of violence and crime on the streets of Harlem.
By 1945, he was assigned to edit “Our Post,” the official Coast Guard publication, and in 1952 the position of Chief Journalist was created for him. He held this position, primarily writing stories to promote the Coast Guard in the media, until 1959, when he retired. Even as his interviews and books brought him wealth and fame, Haley attributed much of his success to the training he received in the military and remained connected to the Coast Guard. In 1973 he was presented with a Distinguished Public Service Award for his work promoting literacy, and in 1989 he became the first person to receive an honorary degree from the Coast Guard Academy.
As usual, Malcolm X was busy at work on the community’s affairs and clearly in no mood to be disturbed by an eager young writer seeking a story—not even if the writer happened to be black. ” The television program presented a highly sensationalized, one-sided account of the Nation of Islam as an angry, separatist, potentially violent movement. The program had been put together without the full cooperation of the Black Muslim leadership. As one who had always worked to promote and protect the good name of the movement and its leader, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X felt angry and betrayed by the documentary and the hateful image it presented of his brothers and sisters in the movement.