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Attallah is Born

Police Raid Home

While Malcolm X was away in Boston on a business trip in May 1958, New York police detectives violently forced their way into the apartment building in East Elmhurst, Queens that he and Betty moved into less than four months earlier. Apparently a postal inspector and the detectives were looking for a “Mrs. Margaret Dorsey” in the first floor apartment, but she did not live at the residence and was unknown to the Muslim tenants. When the detectives asked if they could search the first floor (albeit without a search warrant), the tenant and her 13-year old sister managed to block them from entering. By the time the detectives returned, the owner had also returned. When the owner asked him for a warrant, one of the detectives shoved past him. A fight broke out, whereupon the detectives curiously fired gunshots into the upstairs apartment rented by Malcolm X, John 2X (later known as John Ali), and their wives.

Betty, who was pregnant with Attallah and home at the time of the shooting, was arrested with the Muslims who lived downstairs. Two detectives were hospitalized after sustaining injuries. Within hours of the incident, the Muslims organized a picket line in front of the 114th precinct in Astoria. At the trial, Muslim supporters filled the courtroom, and even overflowed into the corridors and street. Betty X and her housemates were eventually acquitted of assaulting the police officers who raided their home. The trial went on record as the longest felonious assault trial in New York City's history.

The Hate That Hate Produced; Travels Abroad

On behalf of President Nasser of Egypt, in May 1959 a secretary in the United Arab Republic Mission to the United Nations delivered an invitation for Elijah Muhammad and his family to visit Egypt and make Hajj. Bureaucratic problems caused by the American government forced Muhammad to send Malcolm in his place. In July 1959 Malcolm X traveled to the Middle East and Africa. He visited Deputy Premier Anwar el Sadat in Cairo as Elijah Muhammad's emissary. Malcolm X stayed in Cairo longer than expected – about eleven days – because he fell ill with dysentery. From Cairo Malcolm traveled to Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Nigeria, and Ghana. Despite stating on his passport application that he intended to make Hajj, Malcolm did not go to Mecca, apparently because he wanted Muhammad to do so first.

While Malcolm was abroad, WTNA-TV in New York aired a five-part television news report called "The Hate That Hate Produced.” Presented by the journalists Louis Lomax and Mike Wallace, the July 1959 broadcast introduced the Nation of Islam (and Malcolm X) to mainstream America, but it was dramatically edited to maximize its shock value. Despite its lurid presentation of NOI culture, the special news report included excerpts of speeches by Elijah Muhammad and various ministers, and ultimately served as a valuable recruiting tool for the NOI.

Castro; Muhammad Speaks

From late 1959 to early 1960, Malcolm X was effectively put in charge of the Nation of Islam while Elijah Muhammad and his sons Herbert and Akbar visited Asia and Africa. Scholars have argued that Muhammad’s decision sparked the jealous hostility to which Malcolm was subject from other ranking members of the Nation until his death. Midyear Malcolm X helped to found the Nation of Islam's official newspaper, Muhammad Speaks. The newspaper's sophisticated commentary and expert editorial staff made it the most widely read Black publication in the country; at its peak, it had a circulation of 600,000, and it became a highly effective bridge between NOI Muslims and the non-Muslim community.

On September 19, 1960, Fidel Castro met with Malcolm X at Harlem's Hotel Theresa, during a visit to the U.S. for the United Nations' fiftieth anniversary. Malcolm X respected Castro for his dedication to the equality of Black Cubans and his interest in the plight of Blacks in the U.S., but he made it clear that neither he nor the Nation of Islam was "aligned" with the Cuban government because Cuba subscribed to Communism, which was an atheistic form of government. By this time, Malcolm frequently appeared on television and radio shows, lectured at universities and spoke at political rallies.

Qubilah is Born

On December 25, Betty gave birth to Qubilah, their second daughter.

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