MalcolmX Diary book jacket

by Patrick Delices
Special to NNPA

Award winning journalist Herb Boyd and the daughter of Malcolm X, human rights activist Ilyasah Al-Shabazz will launch to the public the long awaited diary of Malcolm X. The anticipated launch date is set for November 10 on the 50th anniversary of “Message to the Grassroots,” an electrifying and commanding speech delivered by Malcolm X in 1963 at King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, the hometown of Herb Boyd.

In The Diary of Malcolm X, Boyd and Al-Shabazz provide the reader with a poignant memory of Malcolm X, one of the greatest leaders and humanitarians in African-American history, who unabashedly championed the global cause of sovereignty for Africans worldwide. Boyd and Al-Shabazz, in The Diary of Malcolm X, succeed immensely in not only producing quality research and knowledge, but ultimately like Malcolm X, in producing quality people by way of their impeccable research and exemplary deeds.

Boyd and Al-Shabazz render valid Malcolm’s mickle esse, intellectualism, socio-political propositions, economic strategy, and perspicacious global discernment without yielding to prevarications, absurdities, personal dissolutions and idealist notions regarding Malcolm’s life as a global Black leader, caring father, and loving husband. For Boyd, The Diary of Malcolm X is “part of Malcolm’s historical records” that “humanizes him in a way that some of these other scholars set out to do.”  Hence, The Diary of Malcolm X is an exposition to Malcolm’s humanity where the reader will engage Malcolm X in his own words and thoughts. As a result, no one needs to humanize Malcolm X because in his diary, Malcolm X clearly humanizes himself.

Ilyasah Shabazz

In regards to The Diary of Malcolm X, Al-Shabazz states, “It’s really beautiful that we get to see Malcolm in his own voice – without scholars, historians, or observers saying what he was thinking or what he was doing or what he meant.”  Accordingly, for Boyd, The Diary of Malcolm X is “probably the most critical thing that he left behind” because it is simply “Malcolm uninterrupted –without any kind of editorial interference” where “Malcolm needs to speak and have his own words heard without any type of intervention.”

Moreover, in The Diary of Malcolm X, Boyd indicates that Malcolm’s daily entries were “compiled over two trips Malcolm made to Africa and the Middle East” which, as a masterpiece of historiography, “will add to the literary canon” in institutions of higher education. Boyd further states that Malcolm did not miss a single day in recording his thoughts during that period – thus, an attestation to Malcolm’s fecund regiment and self-mastery.

Boyd and Al-Shabazz magnificently append their own editorial commentaries as they reasonably amend Malcolm’s distinctive handwritten entries of more than 200 pages on  his socio-political experience overseas along with his exegesis on global events. Thus, from his first entry on April 15, 1964 to his last on November 17, 1964, the reader will ascertain Malcolm’s effulgence, commitment, leadership, and humanity.

In addition, by emending and sharing The Diary of Malcolm X, Boyd and Al-Shabazz import Malcolm X’s prophetic wisdom and political lucidity. As a result, The Diary of Malcolm X deflates western idealism and posthumously rebukes perfidious scholarship regarding Malcolm’s life, work, and mission where scantly attempts to humanize him recoiled due to grounded research and the applicability of primary documents and sources.

In unveiling The Diary of Malcolm X, the reader earns an unpolluted analysis of Malcolm’s worldview, vision, benevolence, and humanity.

Case in point: numerous dignitaries in Africa warned Malcolm X that his life was in danger.  As such, many African leaders offered Malcolm X an opportunity to take refuge in Africa. With purpose, conviction, and valor, Malcolm X stated, “My life will be a small price to pay for such a vision” – a vision for sovereignty, using the philosophy of Pan-Africanism as a vehicle to achieve protective status and sovereign rights for African-Americans “by any means necessary.”

As a diarist, Malcolm logged the material value of engaging African heads of state to bring forth to the United Nations human rights violations against the United States for their mistreatment of African Americans. Moreover, as a diarist, Malcolm observed and logged the potential capacity of the material wealth and power of Africa, and how that material wealth and power can be propitious to African Americans in terms of their fight for sovereignty. Today, Africa is the world’s fastest growing economy and emerging market where material wealth and resources matter, not idealism.

Herb Boyd

Malcolm X in his diary clearly had the intellectual capacity and theory of the mind to perceive and understand that materialism not idealism builds sovereign nations, people, and institutions.  Hence, in idealism, unlike materialism, the philosophical tendency is to perceive your economic, political, and cultural environment as how those particular elements should be not as how those particular elements actually are.  Furthermore, in idealism unlike materialism, cognitive dissonance sets in as the mental faculties become fully inactive when one is confronted with the truth, but is easily seduced by the idea of democracy and freedom for all which actually benefits the few who dominates and oppresses the masses.

To this extent, The Diary of Malcolm X succinctly elucidates that a sovereign Pan-African state should be the material vision of African-Americans where matter is primary and accords an African centered consciousness. This material vision as expressed by Malcolm X integrates a system analysis of the economic, political, and cultural reality of the global African community. Thus, the matter that is primary is economics and Malcolm X understood that economics determined the infrastructure of a sovereign people and nation.  Malcolm X also understood that politics and culture determined the superstructure of a sovereign people and nation.  Accordingly, in a sovereign Pan-African state, African centered ideas along with the socio-economic and political disposition of Africans worldwide will be fortified by investing globally in the development and sustainability of Black owned institutions where the protective status of Blacks is not only mandated, but secured.

If African-Americans are serious about becoming a sovereign people, this very important and valuable book is a must read. For Pan-Africanist, poet, founder, and publisher of Third World Press, Haki Madhubuti, The Diary of Malcolm X is “one of the most important books that we’ve published.”  Obviously, what makes The Diary of Malcolm X extremely important is simply Malcolm’s own words and thoughts, which are prophetic, priceless, and worldly – thus, distinguishably human.

Professor Patrick Delices is a Pan-African scholar who taught the History of Haiti, Caribbean Politics, African-American Politics, and African-Caribbean International Relations at Hunter College and served as a research fellow at Columbia University for the late, Pulitzer Prize historian, Manning Marable.  He is working on a book about the global impact of the Haitian Revolution. Delices can be reached at

[To order your copy of The Diary of Malcolm X, please visit–3 or contact Third World Press at (773) 651-0700]