February 21, 1965. Controversial civil rights leader Malcolm X is gunned down during a speech in Manhattan.
Few were shocked by the news of Malcolm X's death. Since 1952 the former member of the Nation of Islam had supported the Nation's philosophy of violence as the method to achieve justice for blacks in the United States. But in March 1964, after a major shift in his philosophy, Malcolm changed his message. He no longer agreed with the Nation of Islam and feuded with its leaders. He knew that someone would try to kill him. Nearly one year later, that time finally came. The 39-year-old was shot in public at point-blank range.
The news devastated Malcolm s followers. But other people reacted with relief. Malcolm X had always been a lightning rod. Some had felt he did the civil rights movement more harm than good. Still others including leaders of the Nation of Islam reacted with joy. Malcolm X had become an inconvenience to them and now he was out of the way.
Three men were found guilty of the murder. But rumors of conspiracy and cover-up still swirl. Who gave the order for Malcolm X's murder? Why did two of the convicted killers insist upon their innocence even after being released from prison in the 1980s? In this chronicle of an assassination, find out the answers to these questions and learn more about the impact of Malcolm X's life, and his death, on civil rights in the United States.