The false quote that pit MLK against Malcolm X
The author of a new biography about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. unravels the story of how one fabricated quote perpetuated a story that King and fellow civil rights leader Malcolm X were antagonists.
When author Jonathan Eig was doing research for his new biography about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he was digging through archives and libraries, trying to find information about the historic civil rights leader. One day, he was reading the full, unedited transcript of an interview between journalist Alex Haley and King. Eig was familiar with the published version of that interview, which appeared in a 1965 issue of Playboy. But as Eig read the unedited transcript, he was shocked. Haley had taken King’s words out of context and completely fabricated a quote that criticized fellow civil rights leader Malcolm X.
Today, Eig breaks down how this quote fueled the public perception that the two leaders were adversaries and explains the truth behind King and Malcolm X’s relationship.