Author’s Son Seeks Ownership of a Malcolm X Letter Now in the Syracuse University Archives

In April 1964 Malcolm X wrote a letter to Alex Haley from Saudi Arabia. In the letter, Malcolm, who had been on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, wrote that “what I have seen and experienced on this pilgrimage has forced me to ‘re-arrange’ much of my thought patterns, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions.” He noted that he had spent time with Muslims “whose skin was the whitest of white.” Malcolm X was assassinated 10 months later in New York City.

Malcolm X was writing his autobiography with the assistance of Alex Haley. Haley sent the letter to Grove Press so it could be included in the manuscript. Grove Press later gave its backup files on the book project to Syracuse University. The letter and other files remain part of the Syracuse University archives and are available to the public.

But now William Haley, the son of Alex Haley who died in 1992, claims that the letter was never the property of Grove Press and should have been returned to Haley. He has threatened to take legal action to reclaim the letter from the university’s archives. William Haley estimates that the letter may have a value of $650,000 or more.

Related Articles


Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Gunfire Erupts After Homecoming Event at Morgan State University in Baltimore

Five people, including four students, were shot on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore. The incident occurred outside Murphy Fine Arts Center where a homecoming even choosing Mr. and Miss Morgan State University had been selected.

University of Virginia School of Law Establishes the Education Rights Institute

The new institute, led by law professor Kimberly Jenkins Robinson, aims to ensure that all students receive a high-quality K-12 education and help schools understand how to address obstacles facing disadvantaged students.

In Memoriam: Francine Oputa, 1953-2023

During her 30-year career at Fresno State, Dr. Oputa served as director of the Center for Women and Culture and director of the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute. She retired as director of the Cross Cultural and Gender Center in 2021.

Is the Black-White Income Gap Finally Shrinking for Good?

In 2019, the median Black household income was 59.7 percent of the median income of non-Hispanic White families. In 2022, In the income gap was 65.2 percent.

Featured Jobs