In New Book, A. Peter Bailey, Recalls His Friendship And Work With Malcolm X

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On July 23, 2013, world renowned journalist, author, activist, lecturer, and founding member of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), Alfonzo Peter Bailey presented a historical summary of his personal relationship with Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom which is now the resplendent Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center.

A. Peter Bailey discussed his new book, Witnessing Brother Malcolm X: The Master Teacher - A Memoir.  In his lecture, A. Peter Bailey immediately credited Malcolm X as being the major inspiration for his latest book. He recalled Malcolm’s thoughtfulness and gentleness as a revolutionary, Pan-African leader, master teacher, and loving husband and father; Malaak Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, also shared with the audience these rarely publicized attributes of her father.

A. Peter Bailey, was one of the last individuals to speak with Malcolm X on the day that he was assassinated – February 21, 1965. Malcolm X was not only a Pan-African leader, but a journalist who founded Muhammad Speaks in 1960 and wrote for the Black press.

For Malcolm X, it was indispensable that Africans in America told their own narratives in a critical manner independent of the White-owned media. The author took to heart Malcolm’s message regarding the production of knowledge and distribution of information as key instruments to Black liberation, self-determination, and power.  The author's first exposure to journalism was editing and covering stories for the OAAU Newsletter, which was later called the OAAU Blacklash.

During the release of the OAAU’s first newsletter on July 10, 1964, it was Malcolm X who taught A. Peter Bailey that words are powerful and in usage, one must be punctilious. For A. Peter Bailey’s journalistic career, that particular lesson was decisive as he covered the killing of 15 year old James Powell by NYPD Lieutenant Thomas R. Gilligan.  As editor of the OAAU’s newsletter, A. Peter Bailey managed the direction and preparation of reports regarding Malcolm’s international peregrination in Africa; coalition building with various civil rights, human rights, and self-defense groups; and global call for justice, freedom, and power for Africans living in America. 

Born in Columbus, Georgia and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama, A. Peter Bailey first heard Malcolm X speak on a hot Saturday afternoon near Muslim Mosque Number 7 at West 116th Street on Lenox Avenue in June 1962.  Every Saturday during the afternoon, the streets of Harlem became a dinkum institution of the highest level of erudition where Malcolm X was the ultimate master teacher. 


Professor Patrick Delices is a political analyst/commentator for the Black Star News and the author of “The Digital Economy,” Journal of International Affairs. For nearly a decade, Prof. Delices has taught Africana Studies at Hunter College. He also served as a research fellow for the late Pulitzer Prize recipient, Dr. Manning Marable at Columbia University.



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