The brief friendship of Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama began close to 50 years ago with a handshake.
Diane Fujino, chairwoman of the Asian-American studies department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, details the moment in her biography Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama.
Kochiyama and her eldest son, 16-year-old Billy, were arrested along with hundreds of other people, mainly African-Americans, during a protest in Brooklyn, N.Y., in October 1963.
“[They were] in this packed courthouse,” Fujino says. “[There were] a lot of activists who [were] waiting their hearing on the civil disobedience charges.”
In walks Malcolm X, who was quickly mobbed by adoring activists.
Kochiyama described the scene in a Democracy Now! interview in 2008. “I felt so bad that I wasn’t black, that this should be just a black thing,” she recalled. “But the more I see them all so happily shaking his hands and Malcolm so happy, I said, ‘Gosh, darn it! I’m going to try to meet him somehow.’ ” (NPR)
Easy Related Posts
Women of Color: A Growing Force in the American Electorate
One of the intriguing questions that lingered in the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s 2008 election ...read more
The Leadership Conference Urges Education Department to Maintain Accountability in State Waiver Renewals
In a letter issued October 27, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urged Secretary ...read more
The ominous symbolism of the noose
Two nooses were found hanging at high schools in Los Angeles County on Oct. 15 ...read more
Georgia judge rules against civil rights groups on voter registrations
A Georgia judge has denied a push from civil rights groups to force the state's ...read more