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In Class with Malcolm X

By Robert Hummerstone ’64

I got a good lesson in not jumping to conclusions at the very beginning of my year at the J School. The term had just begun, and I wasn't familiar with everyone. At one point, the class was told to gather for a special guest. We did, and in walked Prof. Mencher with Malcolm X, then at the height of his fame. I noted that Malcolm was followed by three African-American men, and I knew that he had bodyguards called the Fruit of Islam. After Malcolm spoke and answered some questions, we were assigned to write a story. I wrote that Malcolm had been accompanied by three bodyguards. The professor who reviewed my story said he had seen only two bodyguards. I said that I had seen three African-American men follow Malcolm into the room. "Oh no," the professor said, laughing. "That third fellow was our school librarian!"

Posted by: AlumniAlumni April 2012

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