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6 Fascinating Facts You Should Know About the Assassinations of Top Black Leaders

CBS Reports

Medgar Evers

Before he was killed on June 12, 1963, NAACP field worker Medgar Evers traveled through Mississippi encouraging poor African-Americans to register to vote and recruiting them into the Civil Rights Movement. Evers was actually instrumental in getting witnesses and evidence for the Emmitt Till murder case. After Evers was shot in his driveway, with the bullet hitting him in the back and tearing through his heart, he was taken to the local hospital in Jackson. He was initially refused entry because of his race until it was explained who he was. He died in the hospital 50 minutes later.

malcolm x portrait

Malcolm X

When Malcolm X was shot on Feb. 21, 1965, in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom, he was hit by a total of 21 gunshot wounds to the chest, left shoulder, arms and legs, including 10 buckshot wounds from the initial shotgun blast. One of the gunmen, Nation of Islam member Talmadge Hayer (also known as Thomas Hagan), was beaten by the crowd before police arrived. The other gunmen were identified as Nation members Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson. All three were convicted in March 1966 and sentenced to life in prison. Butler, later known as Muhammad Abdul Aziz, was paroled in 1985 and became the head of the Nation’s Harlem mosque in 1998. He continued to maintain his innocence.

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