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    Alex Haley Archive. 492 pages, over 100 pages of handwritten notes on articles about Malcolm X, Roots, Queen and Mahalia Jackson, and much more. Haley was an African-American writer, who collaborated with Malcolm X to write his autobiography and won the Pulitzer Prize for Roots, where he traced his lineage back through slavery to an African village. This is a remarkable and important assemblage relating to the most central aspects of his writing career; truly a museum-quality offering. Original portions of typed pages from the Autobiography of Malcolm X with edits. Haley was using these pages when he was writing the article on Malcolm X including portions of the original manuscript. It was known that Haley edited his books this way. He would print out pages of the manuscript and cut out the portions he wanted to edit and attach the edits to the existing pages. The pages are accompanied by several sheets of handwritten edits Haley was planning on making to the book and organizing the "Malcolm X I Knew" article. The article was published a few days after the death of Malcolm X. The 29 page typed manuscript titled "The Malcolm X I Knew" covers Malcolm X's thoughts on Kennedy's death, his friendship with Muhammad Ali, and the foreshadowing of his death: "I came to know a private man of many facets. He was defiant, suspicious; he was almost incredibly self-disciplined; he was also warm, and sensitive, and he was fascinated with people. From the man who indeed gave every impression that he truly hated all white people, I watched him alter what he believed until the end he grieved that scarcely anyone would accept his declarations that he wanted to work for the brotherhood of all men...It was this background of my successfully working with Malcolm X, that prompted a book publisher to ask me in 1963 if I would try to obtain the exclusive autobiography of 'angriest negro in America', as Malcolm X liked to term himself. 'A Book?' Malcolm X was taken aback when I put the question to him in Harlem's Black Muslim Mosque #7 restaurant. He abruptly stopped stirring cream into his coffee. ('Coffee's the only thing I like integrated' was then among his favorite expressions). Casting me a sharp look, finally, 'I will have to give a book a lot of thought'...His visiting my Greenwich Village studio three or four nights a week was the only positive note there was. He was skeptical of everything. He would walk in the door saying 'Testing! Testing!' for he was convinced that the FBI had my studio bugged...he would pace the floor, haranguing against whites in general and against prominent negroes who were attacking the Black Muslims. After having done the same thing all day, Malcolm X was always tired when he arrived. Then my first break came one night when he was so fatigued he almost stumbled as he walked - and for some reason I followed an impulse out of the blue I asked him if he would tell me something about his mother. Malcolm X stopped pacing, looking oddly at me. And incredibly he began to describe in an almost stream-of-consciousness manner the harassed, distraught widow of his father trying to keep her home and children together on the outskirts of Lansing, Michigan. '-she was always standing over the stove, trying to stretch whatever we had to eat. We stayed so hungry that we were dizzy. The remember the color of dresses she used to wear - they were kind of faded-out gray...'. ...Other glimpses into Malcolm X came such as that all of his life he had feared dogs. 'Ever since I can remember, if I saw a dog no bigger than your hand, it looks to me like a lion. Why, when later on I became a burglar, I wouldn't go near a house where I heard a dog'...It is not commonly recognized that some of Malcolm X's most acid attacks were made against negroes.('the sickest man needs the strongest medicine' is how he explained this). His flayings of various Negro figures, and organizations, and some prevalent customs were almost daily, but generally he confined this to Negro community audiences. He rarely spoke at a Negro college without flinging into the teeth of the faculty his criticisms of 'the so-called educated Negroes'. He would say flatly, 'you have not been in the vanguard of helping your poor, ignorant black brothers.' He decried the dearth of Negro knowledge of 'the great history of the black race, extending back to antiquity'. 'Why, if I was president of this college, I'd hock the campus if I had to, to send students to the Black Continent to dig up more artifacts that prove our great history. You're sitting here, and the white man is waking up - he's digging. Why it's gotten so an African elephant can't stumble without falling over some white man with a spade!'...It is generally well known that Elijah Muhammad publicly announced the suspension of Malcolm X for having made the statement that he viewed the assassination of the late President J.F. Kennedy as 'chickens coming home to roost'. Talking with me about it later, Malcolm X, ranged between bitterness and fury, which he managed to keep reasonably guarded in most of his public utterances. 'I've been made a street hustler,' he said, the back of his neck and his whole face flushed reddish with his anger, 'I know when I'm being set up. I've said plenty of hotter things than that, and Chicago never objected. And look how the press jumps on me when every commentator in the country has said the same thing I said. Or take that book of Victor Lasky's - it has been called outright lies by Kennedy, but they made his book into a bestseller!'.

    Malcolm X was referring to Lasky's book, John F. Kennedy: What's Behind the Image, published in 1960. Haley goes on to write about when Malcolm X met Cassius Clay who would become boxing legend Muhammad Ali. "...he and his wife, 'Sister Betty' and their then three children were invited by Cassius Clay to his Miami training camp for the first fight against Sonny Liston. Malcolm X told me that he was most grateful - it was something to do. He and Clay had met over a year before in Detroit, and Clay had become one of the few Muslims whom Malcolm X had ever accepted as a close personal friend. Several times he had spoken of Clay to me with a warmth rare for Malcolm X...I read in the papers that Malcolm X was functioning as Clay's 'spiritual advisor'. I heard from a friend in Miami that the two had daily walks after Clay's training day was over. Then, the night of the gigantic upset, Malcolm X, telephoned me, his voice all but crowing, 'What did I tell you?' He said that it had probably been the quietest new-champion party in history, that at that moment 'Champion Cassius' was asleep on his (Malcolm X's) bed, 'catching' a nap'. Soon, Malcolm X, was squiring Clay about in New York at the United Nations and other places...Then, abruptly something caused Clay to reject Malcolm X, transferring his total allegiance to Elijah Muhammad. I believe that is the most hurt I ever saw Malcolm X reveal to me - aside from his suspension by the Black Muslims - was regarding Clay. 'I felt like a blood big-brother to him,' he said slowly. And carefully considering his words in advance, 'I still do. I'm not against him. He's a fine young man. Smart. He's just let himself be used - led astray'...From the first stages of his interviews, he has spoken often about his anticipating of a violent death. 'All of my father's brothers but one died violently,' he said...he leaned forward and touched the bed. 'If I'm alive when this book is published, it will be a miracle,' he said. 'I'm not saying that in any distress, I'm just saying it like I say that's a bedspread.'"

    Malcolm X would not live much past the day he told Haley this. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated in the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Haley, wrote of his friend's death, "There ensued a week of the greatest news coverage of a death that America had seen since the assassination of a bellowed young president. I went and I look down upon the waxy, dead face surrounded by linen Moslem burial dress. All I could seem to think was 'Well, - goodbye, Malcolm!' And a policeman on guard motioned for me to move on, and I did."

    A six page typed manuscript with several of the author's edits scribbled on every page. The manuscript was written for TV Guide when ABC was replaying Roots (it originally air in 1977) in 1991. Draft #1 is eight handwritten pages on yellow lined legal size paper. Haley dated it Nov. 18, 1991, "on board Columbus Australia". Interesting to see Haley's thought process as the article progressed. Draft #1 begins, "Warren Beatty and I had kept an appointment to meet in NY at his Pierre Hotel Suite for dinner and watch Roots first two-hour segment together. Neither of us spoke a word until that two hours finished. Then Warren stood up and said, 'you life changed as of tonight', such an odd thing to hear, but Warren was right. Next morning at JFK U missed my flight giving umpteen autographs...To me all of it seemed rather like being some barrel abruptly pushed over Niagra Falls, especially in contrast with how Roots had begun in my little hometown of Henning, Tennessee (pop. 500)..." The typed second draft displays Haley's edits in black felt-tip pen as he added details and tightened up sentence structure.

    Five pages from various chapters of Haley's book Queen with several handwritten notations and edits. Queen was written by both Haley and another author, Dave Stevens. The pages in this archive are from Chapter 20 and 26. In 1961, Haley set out to write a story for Reader's Digest about celebrated gospel singer Mahalia Jackson who at the time was in the height of her career. In the late 1950s, Jackson saw much success recording with Percy Faith, performing that the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival and the inauguration John F. Kennedy. She also sang at the funeral for Martin Luther King Jr. Included in this archive is a 13 page typed manuscript with Haley's handwritten edits, a 31 page typed manuscript with notes and a 43 page typed manuscript with notes. Fifty-one typed pages with notes including different versions of the article. A typed letter not signed to poet Langston Hughes, asking him for an interview about Mahalia Jackson. Thirty pages of Haley's handwritten notes about Jackson including an outline of the story. The article tells the story of Jackson's will to turn her poor family rich overnight. Haley wrote, "Mahalia's father thundered, 'No! The Devil will get no help from this house!'" The story continues to tell how Mahalia went to Chicago and worked her way into singing gospel in church choirs and eventually leading to her big break after a bandleader told her he had to have her sing in his band. The only problem was, he wanted her to sing jazz. Haley wrote, "Late into the night, Mahalia wrestled with this new temptation, Jazz would be an instant solution to her lifetime of needing and wanting. But an inner voice was strong and steady. Her father was right. She had been given this voice to sing the religious songs of her people. She had to be what she was. The glitter of jazz could never replace the glow of her religion. Just before dawn, a dark Southside Chicago tenement window raised. Torn fragments of a bandleader's card fluttered down to the sidewalk."

    Other highlights include: Several unpublished pieces that Haley was preparingfor a Black Entertainment Television special called, "Haley's Comments". A draft of an essay about the importance of having grandparents. The draft written in June at 5:30 p.m. on a Delta flight from Atlanta to Knoxville includes Haley's handwritten edits. According to the previous owner of this material the title of this piece was "Hug Your Grandma." Another piece called "The Salad Bowl" written in June of 1991 on a flight from Atlanta to New Orleans. One two page version has Haley's handwritten edits and the other is a clean copy. It is in regards to a conversation Haley had with his son, William about America being a melting pot. In part it reads, "The traditional old descript of multi-ethnic America as the world's 'melting pot' somehow never registered quite right with me. And then, somewhere back during the 1980's, it was my son William, then a recruiting sergeant in the Army, who came up with a better description for me...Bill said 'but in the salad bowl image, each difference of people, racial, cultural, whatever, represent an ingredient. And one would consider that to make a salad, you have four, eight, tend ingredients, even fifteen, should you elect'. Bill said, 'And you prepare each ingredient in its own way. You scrape and split the carrots, dice the bell peppers, slice the boiled eggs, cucumbers and tomatoes, wash and shake the lettuce, and whatever else is required by the other ingredients...The important thing is that nowhere in this mixed salad did any of the ingredients lose their own particular characteristics.'"

    Find the Good and Praise It, a two page typed manuscript with Haley's handwritten corrections. Haley's personal stationery featured the quote "Find The Good and Praise It". This essay talks about the quote's importance to him. In part, it reads, "It is not easy to say that some measure of suspicion, cynicism and criticism isn't importantin business, for of course we should exercise appropriate caution and prudence. But it is to say that an immersion in these negative qualities and perspectives and attitudes inevitably begins to cost us..." Also included is a typed plan for a children's book called A Little Boy's Tale about a little boy's excitement around Christmas time. Haley named the little boy in the story, Murray Palmer, which incidentally was Haley's name. Haley has several comments written on this page as well. There are four revisions of an article Haley was writing about Olympic athlete Wilma Rudolph. Rudolph was the first American women to win three gold medals in the Olympics beating her competition in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and ran the anchor in the 400-meter relay. Her celebrity led to gender barriers being broken in previously all-male track and field events. What makes Rudolph's story inspiring was the fact that she was crippled at four-years-old after double pneumonia and scarlet fever left her unable to walk. With the help of specialists and daily therapeutic massages, and determination, Rudolph triumphed over her condition and went on to be a winner. Included in this archive are four revisions of a manuscript typed by Haley called, "World's Queen of Track". The manuscripts range in length from 13 to 18 pages and tell the story of Rudolph, "A tiny 4 ½ pounds at birth...was the 16th child in the poor negro home of a store clerk and a domestic in Clarksville, Tenn." A typed letter from Haley accompanies the manuscripts. The letter is addressed to John Allen, Associate Editor of Reader's Digest dated 12 January 1961 reads, "Dear John 'World's Queen of Track' reads fine to me. And certainly the same applies to the check. I'm not proud, though. You had to add an undue lot of work because I didn't come as close to the mark as with previous stories. You say 'Let's tryanother soon' - the sooner the better for me; IU am going to the mat with it. Every day I hunt the next Digest subject. Concurrently, if you have another idea that you feel I can do justice, you know I'll appreciate it." The letter is not signed.

    A fourteen page manuscript with one page containing handwritten corrections Haley submitted to Reader's Digest titled "The Best Advice I Ever Had". Ackerman, a Washington D.C. realtor, was a founding member of the Aramaic Bible Society, Inc. that was first incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, on Dec. 2, 1943. The Aramaic Bible Society was reestablished in 1995. Haley set out to do an article on Ackerman after he kept coming across biblical quote advertisements, Ackerman would take out in newspapers. 'I thought how nice it would be if God's words were advertised with the intensity that we give to commodities. I sat bolt upright. I could advertise! Within two hours, I had placed ads in the three Washington papers: The Post, The News, and The Star. The ads were paid from my personal funds. I insisted that my name not appear. This was the ad, in large display type: THINK If you hate your brother whom you have seen, how can you love God whom you have not seen? WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER?" The manuscript comes with Haley's handwritten outline of the article, a 25 page rough draft littered with Haley's handwritten edits in red pen, 37 pages of handwritten notes from Haley's interview with Ackerman, an 11 pages typed transcript of those notes with handwritten edits including an expense report from the September 27, 1960 trip to Washington from New York, totaling $74.18. Also included is the fallout from the article. According to letters sent to and from Haley, Ackerman was less than pleased with the article's final print and contacted an attorney. "I'm still bewildered," Haley wrote to Caroline Rodgers,associate editor of Reader's Digest, "the man giving the interview couldn't have been more gracious. He testified such an extraordinary conversion, conviction, and follow-through that it overall was hard to believe - yet there he sat; he was also saint-like. Back here, I recorded the story and condensed it, filled with admiration....In a few days, Mr. Ackerman telephoned from San Antonio, Texas, yearning to see a manuscript...I airmailed him a copy. The next call was from his Washington Attorney, Mitchell Cutler. 'Mr. Ackerman is shocked and appalled.' I was staggered and said so..." Cutler attempted to halt the publication of the story and Haley kept detailed handwritten notes of his conversations with Cutler that are included in this archive. The story was eventually withdrawn and was never published. Fine condition overall.


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