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Malcolm X Tries to Make Peace with Elijah Muhammad

June 26, 1964 - The leader of one of two feuding militant Negro groups today called on his rival to make peace and work with other Negro leaders in the civil rights struggle.

Malcolm X (left in 1960), leader of the Black Nationalist movement, urged in an open letter to Elijah Muhammad (right), the Black Muslim leader:

“Instead of wasting all of this energy fighting each other, we should be working in unity and harmony with other leaders and organizations in an effort to solve the very serious problems facing all Afro-Americans. Historians would then credit us with intelligence and sincerity.”

Mr. Muhammad, who lives in Chicago, could not be reached, and an official in the New York office of the Nation of Islam declined comment.

Malcolm X, formerly second-ranking leader in the Black Muslim movement, openly broke with Mr. Muhammad March 8 and formed his own Black Nationalist organization. Since the break, the two rivals have carried on a running propaganda war that has flared up several times into violent incidents between their followers.

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