Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Newark Man Denies Killing Malcolm X, Lawyer Says

Newark Man Denies Killing Malcolm X, Lawyer Says
Published: Sunday, April 03, 2011, 9:30 PM     Updated: Monday, April 04, 2011, 7:56 AM
Star-Ledger Staff By Star-Ledger Staff The Star-Ledger
Star-Ledger file photoAl-Mustafa Shabazz, above in this 2004 file photo, is named as the chief assassin of Malcolm X in the book "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" by Columbia University professor Manning Marable.

 Courtesy of Abdur-Rahman MuhammadEast Orange police mug shot of William Bradley, a.k.a. Al-Mustafa Shabazz

NEWARK — A lawyer representing Al-Mustafa Shabazz today disputed an allegation that the 72-year-old Newark man was the main assassin of Malcolm X in 1965, an accusation made in a controversial book published today.

"I’ve spoken to him (Shabazz) and he categorically denies he was involved in the assassination of Malcolm X," said his attorney, J. Edward Waller.

In his major new biography "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention," author Manning Marable, claims William Bradley, who many people over the years have placed at the shooting of Malcolm X, is married to Carolyn Kelley, now Carolyn Kelley Shabazz, a prominent civic leader in Newark. Marable died unexpectedly Friday from a long illness.

On Saturday, Carolyn Shabazz said her husband did not have any association with the death of the controversial black leader 46 years ago. He was not available to speak at the time and today Waller said he was now speaking for the couple.

"There’s nothing that ties him with the death of Malcolm X directly or indirectly," Waller said. "There’s nothing to support this."

In his book, Marable wrote extensively about Newark Mosque 25 and its alleged role in the conspiracy to assassinate Malcolm X. According to historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, who worked with Marable and interviewed many of the members of Newark’s Muslim community, the involvement of Mosque 25 had been "an open secret" for years.

Three men were eventually convicted of the murder of Malcolm X, who had publicly split with the Nation of Islam, but Marable and others have long asserted there were other assailants, including Bradley.

Marable spoke with a Star-Ledger reporter last year about the impending publication of his books and his allegations against Bradley.

"This isn’t a court of law," Marable said. "Rather, it’s how a historian pieces together evidence. You make judgments about people based on the totality of their lives."

Speaking of Bradley, he added, "He has turned his life around over the last 20 years. He has a positive and constructive reputation within the Muslim community. And his life has been turned around through marriage and local activities."

As Marable’s book was set to be released, some in Newark’s Muslim community said today there was renewed discussion about the assassination.

"My concern now is, how will it play out and how will it affect us as a community," said Amin Nathari, who grew up attending Mosque 25 and is the founder of a mosque in East Orange where he was imam from 1995 to 1998. He says Shabazz attended his mosque for several months in 1998 after his release from prison. Department of Corrections documents list William Bradley, aka Al-Mustafa Shabazz, as serving time in jail in the 1980s and ’90s. He was freed, according to the records, in 1998.

When asked Saturday whether her husband was Bradley, Carolyn Shabazz did not deny it, but said, simply, that legally his name is Shabazz.

Waller says he only knows his client by the name Al-Mustafa Shabazz, and that he "never had the opportunity to respond to the allegation prior to the publication of the book. The first time they heard about this was (Saturday). They were caught off guard."

At least two others journalists, Richard Prince and Karl Evanzz, wrote about the connection last year, and filmmaker Omar Shabazz mentioned the connection in a documentary, according to Marable’s book.

Nathari, 47, now an author, scholar and civic leader, said today he has reached out to some of the imams in the area in the wake of the accusations in Marable’s book.

"A person is innocent until proven guilty," Nathari said. "So allegations don’t make a person guilty. At the same time, I will say this, as Muslims we have to stand upon the truth. We don’t let our love or our hatred cause us to be unjust."

By Amy Ellis Nutt and Barry Carter/The Star-Ledger

© 2011 NJ.com. All rights reserved.

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Interview Of The Late Dr. Manning Marable (July 2007)
Dr. Manning Marable, arguably the world’s foremost Malcolm X scholar, shares with us the impact of Malcolm X’s legacy as well as enlightens us about the controversy/conspiracy surrounding the three missing chapters of Malcolm X’s classic autobiography and Alex Haley’s role as FBI informant…You don’t want to miss this…The second time around!!! Interview begins 6 minutes into the 2nd hour:

 W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio:"Malcolm X: Man. Myth. Legacy."

More Malcolm X On W.E. A.L.L. B.E.:

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