Was Malcolm X bisexual? Prof Manning Marable offers evidence
London - 5 April 2011
Peter Tatchell writes:
The esteemed African-American Columbia University historian, Professor Manning Marable, died last week, aged 60. He was a prestigious and acclaimed chronicler of black history and a leading figure in African-American studies. I greatly admired his scholarship and much of his politics. His death is a great loss.
Manning's latest book was published posthumously this week. Called: Malcolm X - A Life of Reinvention, it is one of the two most in-depth and honest accounts of Malcolm X ever published, with many new insights.
Among many interesting revelations, Manning's biography of Malcolm concurs with my thesis, first expressed nearly two decades ago, that Malcolm X had same-sex encounters and relationships.
See my more recent Guardian newspaper articles on Malcolm's youthful bisexuality - 2005: δαμέ and 2009: τζιαι δαμέ.
My claims were not original. They were based on evidence collected by the brilliant US author Bruce Perry and documented in his towering 1991 book, Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America. Perry was unfairly maligned by black nationalists and the Nation of Islam for recounting Malcolm's gay / bisexual past. So was I. We were accused of racism and revisionism.
Manning Marable was a widely respected historian with great credibility in academic, black and left-wing circles. His corroboration of Malcolm X's same-sex experiences will hopefully help undermine the decades of denialism by those who misguidedly regard homosexuality as shameful and unAfrican.