UMass Lowell to host Garret Felber for lecture on Malcolm X and police brutality

The speaking event on police brutality and Malcolm X will be held on Nov. 30 in O’Leary Room 222. (Courtesy of Anglonautes)

Morgyn Joubert
Connector Staff

With the growing number of cases involving police brutality, the History Department, along-side the Working Class on Race and Ethnicity at UMass Lowell, has decided to invite speaker Garret Felber to discuss what is going on across the country and how it relates to the Civil Rights Era back of the late 1960s.

On Nov. 30 in O’Leary Library Room 222, between 2 and 3 p.m., there will be a speaking event titled “You’re Brutalized Because You’re Black” which will explain the research behind Malcolm X and the topic of police brutality.

“I will be discussing efforts by Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam and other black nationalists to build a black united front against police brutality in the early 1960s leading up to the March on Washington in 1963,” Felber said.

Felber will be discussing his newest book, “The Portable Malcolm X Reader,” along with his works with Manning Marable, a professor at Columbia University.

“The Portable Reader is a collection of primary sources relating to Malcolm X, organizing along a chronology of major events in his life,” Felber said.

The event is co-sponsored by the History Department, the Working-Class Group on Race and Ethnicity, and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences office.

Chad Montrie, a professor of History at UMass Lowell, decided to organize this event around his newest course, “Malcolm X,” which was offered for the first time at the start of the fall semester.

“Malcolm X is very over-looked when deciding on teaching about him in history course. He’s either not talked about or he’s a side topic mentioned only a little,” Montrie said.

The speech will be 30-40 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer section that will enable the students to participate in the discussion.

“I hope students come. It will be a chance to learn about the history you think you know, but may not, and to consider our current moment of organizing against prisons and policing in light of that history,” Felber said.

Students have already come forth expressing their concerns and interests involving the spoken event. Damon Best, a student majoring in business marketing and management, has provided his thoughts on the importance of talking about Malcolm X and police brutality.

“We should know Malcolm X just as much as we known Martin Luther King Jr. There are different sides to the Civil Rights Era. It’s not right to only focus on one side of a historical moment,” Best said.

Within the last few years, there has been a light shown on the effects of police brutality and how it can change a community. Best also provided his experience with the topic.

“I’ve dealt with police harassment a few times in the past where they’ve followed me around the mall or when I got pulled over for texting and driving and didn’t have my phone in the car. I was driving back to my house because I forgot it,” Best said.

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