Searching for Kemet: Malcolm X in Egypt

1960s: Days of Rage


“We all know the name Malcolm X, but few of us have heard of Malik El-Shabazz, the name the civil rights activist adopted after his conversion to Islam and under which he journeyed to Cairo in the early 1960s. As those who travel in the pursuit of knowledge so often do, Malcolm travelled alone, arriving in the Egyptian capital just before embarking on a long journey through Africa. Malcolm’s time in Cairo is rarely touched upon. Still, it seems to have had an important impact on his politics towards the end of his life, sparking a new emphasis on Black unity and the importance of brotherhood in the face of white oppression. The year before Malcolm X’s last visit to Cairo, he’d left America to travel the Middle East and West Africa. When he returned on May 21st, 1963, he had visited Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, and…

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