Missing parts of Malcolm X‘s autobiography released in 1965 were finally located on Thursday, July 26. An unpublished chapter was discovered and sold at Guernsey’s auction house in New York City for $7,000.
The chapter, titled “The Negro,” was a lost section of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which Kevin Young, director of The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture, who brought the chapter, confirmed to The Associated Press. The Schomburg had also purchased the 241-page draft of Malcolm’s autobiography — complete with handwritten comments by the Muslim minister and legendary author Alex Haley — for an undisclosed sum.
Malcolm’s writings explored racism and prejudice with words that were equally poetic and audacious.
“We are like the Western deserts; tumbleweed, rolling and tumbling whichever way the white wind blows,” Malcolm X wrote. “And the white man is like the cactus, deeply rooted, with spines to keep us off.”
The works by Malcolm gives key insights into how he viewed the troubled world around him.
[“The scribbled notes in the draft] are a very direct narrative that he’s crafing,” Young said, citing the image of a racist cross-burning that Malcolm X’s mother told him about during his childhood. “And that’s what brings him into the world.”
Besides the draft and chapter, another interesting discovery was made by Young — there were several loose fragments found that could indicate Malcolm X was working on other writings before his assassination in 1965.
“I examined them, and I don’t know what those are, it’s too early to tell; they look like they were probably stapled at one time, or cut and pasted; some are half of a page, or just slips of paper,” Young explained. “The best way to describe them is that they’re literal fragments and literary fragments.”
It may take years before the story of the mysterious fragments are pieced together; however, Malcolm’s already-published work still stands as necessary reading about the history of Black people in America.