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Long-lost Malcolm X recording found

Feb. 5, 2012 at 9:25 PM   |   Comments

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A Brown University student has come across a long-lost recording of a speech civil rights activist Malcolm X delivered at the Rhode Island school.

Senior Malcolm Burnley first learned of the May 11, 1961, speech while doing research for a fictional writing course, National Public Radio reported Saturday.

Burnley said he was "flipping through dusty compilations of student newspapers" in the school's archives when he came across a brief reference to the speech and the name of a student writer, Katherine Pierce, whose article in the Brown Daily Herald advocating integration had been key to Malcolm X's campus visit.

Burnley tracked down Pierce, who now lives in New York state, and it turned out she had saved a recording of the speech.

Burnley says Malcolm X explains his ideology and positions that became wide known, including why the term "negro" was unacceptable to followers of the Nation of Islam.

"There are 20 million so-called 'negroes' here in America," he said. "Twenty million ex-slaves. Twenty million second-class citizens. No matter what other classification you try to put on them, you can't deny that we are ex-slaves. You can not deny that we are second-class citizens. And the fact that we are second-class citizens means someone has done us an injustice and deprived us of that which is ours by right."

Malcolm X explained the Nation of Islam rejected the notion of integration in the United States because by "forcing white people to pretend they are accepting black people, you are making white people act in a hypocritical way."

"However, we feel that when you can change both of them and they come together voluntarily, without force or without pressure, then automatically you are furthering brotherhood and bringing about better relationships between the two races," he said.

Malcolm X was assassinated in February 1965.

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