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Video: Malcolm X Grilled By Chicago Television Journalists In 1963

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 23, 2013 3:45PM

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the seminal events in the Civil Rights movement and a marker of one of the more volatile eras in American history.

Here’s another gem from 50 years ago: an appearance by Malcolm X on City Desk, a news affairs program on Chicago NBC affiliate WMAQ that aired March 17, 1963. The Black Muslim leader was interviewed—some may say he was grilled— by newsmen Jim Hurlbut, Floyd Kalber, Len O'Connor, and Charles McCuen, who discovered early on that Malcolm made for a testy and challenging interview subject.

It’s a wonderful look back at a time when television news wasn’t the series of shouting matches it is today and how not every African American was in lockstep with the efforts of Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. You can watch the full video (which cannot be embedded) here.

The introduction of City Desk

"Our history was destroyed by slavery."

Here's Malcolm X describing how the Ku Klux Klan drove his family out of Omaha and killed his father.

Malcolm X on the NAACP and the Urban League