Regina King’s recent Oscars hopeful, One Night in Miami, tells a fictionalised tale of a meeting between legends Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke. The timely and thought-provoking drama sees the four discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and the times they find themselves in, and while the audience can see from the film how far we have come, there is certainly a long way yet to go.
If the film’s message has inspired you, there are lots of books out there to deepen your understanding of these figures and the civil rights movement that it portrays.
These two new books below offer a perfect starting point for those who have been left wanting to learn more after Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come played out One Night in Miami…
The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les and Tamara Payne
This colossal tome on the life and work of Malcolm X is an indispensable and definitive study on the iconic figure. The result of nearly three decades of investigative reporting, this 640-page biography epic brings fascinating new information and insight while setting the new standard for historical non-fiction thanks to its meticulous research and in-depth reporting.
It is a truly masterful text and one that will surely be studied for many years to come, while also acting as a perfect companion piece to One Night in Miami and Spike Lee’s celebrated biopic Malcolm X.
Les Payne (1941-2018), born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and a former editor at Newsday. A founder of the National Association of Black Journalists, Payne also wrote an award-winning syndicated column. Tamara Payne served as Les Payne’s principal researcher. She lives in New York.
The Dead are Arising is available now from Penguin Books with an RRP of £30.00
Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs
This endlessly fascinating and unprecedented study of the mothers of three of the most beloved civil rights icons is a powerful and illuminating exploration of motherhood and a rousing celebration of Black women. The ground-breaking debut from scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs represents a piece of history that until now has been left untold, and will forever change our understanding of Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and James Baldwin – and perhaps even love our own mothers a little more, too.
An inspiring and flawlessly written book, Three Mothers is an essential piece of Black history that is timelier than ever in 2021.
Anna Malaika Tubbs is a Cambridge Ph.D. candidate in sociology and a Bill and Melinda Gates Cambridge Scholar. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology, Anna received a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge in multidisciplinary gender studies. Outside of the academy she is an educator, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant, and the First Partner of Stockton, California.
Three Mothers is available 4 February from Harper Collins with an RRP of £18.99