Tonight, CNN will be premiering a special report called Witnessed, The Assassination of Malcolm X.
A half century has passed, and questions still remain about Malcolm’s murder. In the broadcast, those who were there will share their memories — from Earl Grant, former radio reporter Gene Simpson, Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz and his associate Peter Bailey.
“We failed him, I tried to help him” Malcolm X’s photographer and friend Earl Grant cries as he describes the horrifying day.
According to the network:
In 1965, Malcolm X was at crossroads. The controversial black nationalist figure had recently left the Nation of Islam where he gained prominence as their chief spokesman. He was involved in a public feud with the group’s leader, Elijah Muhammed, and was being closely watched by the CIA and FBI. He was attempting to start a new organization with evolving ideas about race while faced with constant death threats including the firebombing of his home. On February 21st, he would be assassinated while speaking on stage in the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem.
In a CNN Special Report titled WITNESSED: The Assassination of Malcolm X, people who were in the ballroom when the shots were fired tell their story of the events surrounding that day
To supplement the show, the experience continues on-line on CNN’s Malcolm X page, where Zaheer Ali, who served as project manager of the Malcolm X Project at Columbia University, and as a lead researcher for Manning Marable, further explores some of the unanswered questions surrounding the assassination.
On Facebook, Earl Grant allowed us to look inside his personal photo albums. Some of these pictures have not been seen publicly in years, and he shares his dearest memories in the captions.
You can also check out The faces of Malcolm X video here.
Witnessed, The Assassination of Malcolm X, A CNN Special Report, premieres tonight at 9pm EST.