Black rights

The gospel of separation according to Malcolm X

In late April 1962 Los Angeles police shot and killed an unarmed black man, Ronald X Stokes, during a disturbance outside a Nation of Islam temple. Malcolm X, then the second most powerful figure in the NOI, rushed to the city. At a rally he told protesters: ‘You’re brutalised because you’re black, and when they lay a club on the side of your head, they do not ask your religion. You’re black, that’s enough.’ Sound familiar? The Dead Are Arising, a new biography of Malcolm X, is timely. But perhaps this sobering book’s clearest message is that it will always be timely, because the story it narrates is timeless. In