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
New Orleans' Post-Katrina Identity Crisis
Hotel rooms are booked. The convention center is packed. Throngs of revelers spill out of ...read more
The Unequal Mortgage Market Is No Coincidence
Persistent racial and ethnic inequality in the mortgage market is not a coincidence. Nearly 50 ...read more
The age of vulnerability and inequality in the United States
Two new studies show, once again, the magnitude of the inequality problem plaguing the United ...read more
Mapping the New Jim Crow
Theodore Johnson's excellent piece appraising "Black America" as a country gives us some sense of ...read more