49 years ago today, on February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was shot and killed by members of the Nation of Islam after breaking with the group and renouncing his political activities–many of which were labeled racist–while a member. “I did many things as a [Black] Muslim that I’m sorry for now,” he said, shortly before his death. “I was a zombie then… pointed in a certain direction and told to march.”
Though controversial–he was known to have said that equal rights should be claimed by any means necessary–there can be no question that Malcolm X was a powerful and important leader in the civil rights movement. Yet he was not alone; thousands of Americans of all races and socioeconomic levels participated in the movement to ensure equal rights and equal protection for all individuals, a movement that continues today. The anniversary of his death calls to mind the contributions of each of these individuals, and asks us to consider the sacrifices made by all. Some sacrificed time and money, others sacrificed their safety and the safety of their loved ones, and yet others sacrificed their lives.
Ohio Memory contains a number of documents relating to the civil rights movement in Ohio. From reports of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to photos of civil rights activists and their opposition, Ohio Memory can provide researchers with a very full picture of the civil rights activities of Ohioans from the 19th century to today.
We hope that you will visit Ohio Memory and examine our rich, and growing, online collection of civil rights materials.
Thank you to Shannon Kupfer, Digital/Tangible Media Cataloger at the State Library of Ohio, for this week’s post!