Behold, the Power of Biographies!

More than 40 years after Malcolm X’s assassination, the case might be revived — and it’s all thanks to a book. Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention has called attention to the Civil Right’s leader’s murder, which was never entirely solved.

Sure, arrests were made. But as this New York Times article explains, there are still unanswered questions, like who ordered the assassination. Some believe the innocent were blamed, while those responsible went free.

With the biography’s bestseller-status, some are pushing for the Justice Department, FBI, or Manhattan District Attorney to reopen the case.

People have attempted to reopen the case over the years, but as Shaila Dewan explains in her article, this time, there’s more of a possibility that it will make waves.

But this time they may well gain traction because the legal environment has changed: prosecutors in the South have demonstrated that it is possible to pursue and win cases that are decades old and, as a byproduct, they have made the failures of the police in the civil rights era abundantly clear.

Of course it helps that the book is a biography of one of the most intriguing people in American history, but the fact that a book has the power to open a murder case that’s more than 40 years old is amazing to me. What do you think? Do you think a decades-old murder case might soon be solved? Will you read the biography?

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