Producer Phil Bertelsen and Historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad of Who Killed Malcolm X?

Published on17 AUG 2020
Making Progress Towards Racial Equity

In this episode of Talks at GS, producer Phil Bertelsen and historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad discuss the documentary series Who Killed Malcolm X?, the role of Malcolm X in the struggle for Black equality and the current conversation on racial equity.

Muhammad on his pursuit for justice in the murder of Malcolm X: “I felt that it was the last unresolved business from the 1960s civil rights era. There had always been a cloud or veil around covering this issue. Most people were kind of foggy about it. You never really got any closure… It was a realization that I was trained to do it. You know what I'm saying? I have the ability to do it, but, more importantly, I have access to individuals and forces that would help me to get to the bottom [of it]. And it has become the work of my life. It's taken over 30 years to really solve this.”

Bertelsen on what the documentary series adds to today’s conversation on racial justice: “Post-May 2020, there was a renewed interest in this series in large part because one of the primary things that Malcolm was really against, and eloquently so, was police brutality and police misconduct… So, in some ways, Malcolm's voice was more resonant than ever at that point. And so the series continues to hold the interest of viewers and to get people to realize that this is a story that we've been telling for years and that, in some ways, what's past is prologue. And we have a long way yet to go with regard to racial injustice in this country.”

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