Students who do cool things: Malcolm X speech revisited, 50 years later

Just over 50 years ago, two historical legends — Malcolm X and the future American diplomat Richard Holbrooke ’62  — stood in front of a crowd of 800 in Sayles Hall. Thanks to Malcolm Burnley ’12, the entire world can hear exactly what they said.

Burnley recently discovered a recording of the May 11, 1961 speech given by Malcolm X, who was defending his views in response to a student-written Herald opinion piece that ran a few months earlier. Holbrooke, editor-in-chief of The Herald at the time, had welcomed the activist to campus to speak to Brown students and respond to the author of the critical opinion column.

Burnley found his way to the recording after coming across another Herald article about the event in the May 12, 1961 paper, as part of an assignment for a class. So, if we’ve learned anything from this story, it is to…

1) Read The Herald.
2) Write for The Herald / BlogDailyHerald.
3) Do your homework?
4) For best results, combine all three.

Check out the full story, including clips from the recording and interviews with Burnley, on the NPR website.

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