Malcolm and Martin, closer than we ever thought





he Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was leaving a news conference one afternoon when a tall man with a coppery complexion stepped out of the crowd and blocked his path.

Malcolm X, the African-American Muslim leader who once called King "Rev. Dr. Chicken-wing," extended his hand and smiled.

That encounter on March 26, 1964, lasted only a minute. But a photo of that meeting has tantalized scholars and supporters of both men for more than 45 years.

As the 85th birthday of Malcolm X is marked on Wednesday, history has freeze-framed him as the angry black separatist who saw whites as blue-eyed devils.

Yet near the end of his life, Malcolm X was becoming more like King -- and King was becoming more like him.


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