Autobiography of Malcolm X

MALCOLM X   |   Alex HALEY   |   Adelaide CROMWELL HILL

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MALCOLM X and HALEY, Alex. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Grove, (1965). Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket.

First edition of this modern American classic—"a document for our time" (New York Times)—with 16 pages of photographic illustrations, in original dust jacket. The copy of African American sociologist and professor, Adelaide M. Cromwell Hill, known for founding Boston University's African Studies Center and directing its African-American Studies program.

"His autobiography, a story of self-creation and redemption, reveals the complicated, compelling, still-evolving private man. Jailed for burglary, in the closed world of prison Malcolm Little found freedom in the power of the word. He read prodigiously; became a passionate convert to Elijah Muhammad's Black Muslim movement; and walked out as Malcolm X… Each of these changes was a stage in a long intellectual journey, uncompleted at his death. 'If I'm alive when this book comes out, it will be a miracle,' he wrote. 'It's a time for martyrs now" (Books of the Century, 61). Published after a lengthy collaboration with Alex Haley and shortly after Malcolm X's assassination in February the same year, The Autobiography of Malcolm X was immediately praised as "a brilliant, painful, important book… as a document for our time, its insights may be crucial; its relevance cannot be doubted" (New York Times). "First Printing" on copyright page. Brigano 163. Blockson 2235. This distinctive association copy bears the owner signature of "Adelaide C[romwell] Hill," a prominent African American sociologist and professor. "An influential Afro-American intellectual, feminist scholar, nurturing teacher, academic administrator, and persistent agent of benevolent disruption, Dr. Cromwell was a native of the District of Columbia where her family was distinguished for its accomplishments in law, journalism, accounting, scholarship, and, especially, education" (ASALH). Cromwell picked up the education thread and studied at Smith, Penn, Bryn Mawr, and Radcliffe, earning the qualifications that helped her to secure a professorship at Boston University. She soon became one of the founders of its African Studies Program—only the second in the country. She was also instrumental in transforming BU's Afro-American Studies program into a grantor of post-graduate degrees. Today, Cromwell is also well-known for her influential sociological studies, including "The Other Brahmins: Boston's Black Upper Class 1750-1950." Pencil notes on rear pastedown partially erased.

Book fine, dust jacket near-fine with only slight wear and toning to extremities. A handsome copy with a memorable provenance.

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