5 pieces of Malcolm X memorabilia



2015-06-26 14:06:47

To mark 50 years since legendary civil rights leader Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965, we take a look at 5 incredible pieces of memorabilia associated with him.

5. African Bazaar invitation

Malcolm X's biographer – the journalist Alex Haley - was personally invited to attend the African Bazaar, an event held at Malcolm X's headquarters in New York's Mosque No 7.

It took place in September 1963, one year before X left the Nation of Islam.

This pair of tickets to the event, along with a printed letter, sold for $3,400 at Swann Auction Galleries in New York in 2006.

4. Signed interview notes

Image: PBA Galleries

Haley interviewed Malcolm X on a number of occasions. This set of typed sheets, titled Playboy Interview: Malcolm X. A Candid Conversation with the Militant Major-Domo of the Black Muslims, display X's signature.

They sold for $3,750 at PBA Galleries in San Francisco in 2013.

3. Postcard

Image: Swann Auction Galleries

This postcard was sent from Malcolm X to Haley in 1961.

It reads: "Its better to live in a shack that you own, at the bottom of Grand Canyon, than in the city in a mansion that belongs to someone else. Bro Malcolm X."

It made $5,000 at Swann in 2005.

2. Letter

Image: Swann Auction Galleries

Malcolm X wrote to Haley from Cairo, where he was attending the African Summit Conference, in 1964.

The letter reads in part: "This conference has been a tremendous education to me, on the interworkings [sic] and 'intrigues' of international politics--and has made me see even more the necessity of the Afro American struggle being internationalized…

"Also, I was invited aboard the yacht Isis…a floating hotel that is anchored in the Nile River. This yacht housed the leaders of the African Liberation Front…it was an honor to be among them…"

He goes on to ask for Haley's help in editing some of his writings. It made $8,500 at Swann Galleries in 2005.

1. Jewellery box

Image: Sloan & Kenyon

Malcolm X spent some time in the Charlestown State Prison during the 1940s and early 1950s. It was while he was inside that he became a member of the Nation of Islam, renouncing his birth name (Little) as a rejection of the name forced on his ancestors by their slave owner.

He made this jewellery box during his years of incarceration, making it a potent symbol of his transformation. It sold for $20,000 at Sloan & Kenyon of Maryland in 2005. 

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it