Dr. Manning Marable often said that his biography on Malcolm X was written to present new insight on the life of the powerful civil rights leader. In the book Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, Dr. Marable alleges that Malcolm X participated in homosexual acts as a youth; that his criminal life was exaggerated; and that X and his wife, Betty Shabazz, both had extramarital affairs.
But Karl Evanzz, a former news researcher for the Washington Post and author of a book on the assassination of Malcolm X, disputes Dr. Marable’s claims and believes that the book is filled with misspellings, wrong dates, shabby sources, and typographical errors.
Evanzz submitted a 2,000-word book review to TheRoot.com, but the website rejected it and sent him a $100 kill fee. He eventually posted the review on his blog. Here are excerpts from Evanzz’s review.
Evanzz on Marable’s allegation that Malcolm X was homosexual:
“The media ran with this allegation without checking its validity. Marable claims, “falsely attributed” his own sexual encounters with an older white male to a friend named “Rudy (p. 66).”
‘Based on circumstantial but strong evidence, Malcolm was probably [emphasis supplied] describing his own homosexual encounter with Paul Lennon,’ Marable wrote. ‘The revelations of his involvement with Lennon produced much speculation about Malcolm’s sexual orientation.’
Speculation by whom? Marable, that’s who. There are four footnotes for this page, but none substantiates this scurrilous assertion, one that would be grounds for libel were either party alive. Moreover, there is nothing in Malcolm X’s far superior work to suggest that there was any touching of genitalia, let alone oral or anal sodomy. Nor does Marable offer proof that the employer was homosexual, bisexual or asexual.”
Evanzz on Marable’s allegation of Malcolm X’s and Betty Shabazz’s infidelity:
“According to Marable, Malcolm was having an extramarital affair with one of his secretaries, an affair that lasted until his death. Keep in mind that Malcolm knew by early 1965 that he was under constant surveillance by the FBI as well as by members of the Nation of Islam. How do we know? Because Malcolm X said so repeatedly in speeches and his posthumous memoir … FBI files show that agents worked in eight-hour shifts to keep Malcolm under around-the-clock surveillance in weeks prior to his death. With those kinds of stressors, an extramarital affair the night before he died seems highly unlikely, and he certainly would not have chosen a teenage girl at a time when he was scheduled to testify against Black Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad for doing the same thing.”