A Reading Room of the Civil Rights Movement

by on February 8, 2012

in Staff articles

An essay by Anders Høg Hansen

Malcolm X speaking at Michaux’s bookstore early 1960s

The brand new documentary by Göran Hugo Olsson ‘The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975’ includes intriguing footage and interviews with intellectuals and artists involved in American Black Power and Civil Rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s, with an emphasis on Black Panthers. Footage hidden for decades in the Swedish SVT (Swedish Public Service TV) archives has been brought to light by Olsson, including fascinating interviews with Angela Davis, an activist who is still alive. The documentary also includes interviews from 1972 with Lewis H Michaux, who ran a bookstore in Harlem, New York City, for over four decades. Much has been written about Angela Davis and Malcolm X, who often spoke from Michaux’ store. Michaux who passed away in 1976 is less known. Not even a Wikipedia entry existed (until I wrote a brief entry, please edit/add if you know more).

This essay is an introduction to Lewis H Michaux, a great social facilitator and mediator of the importance and empowering potential of reading and books, with added reflections on social movements, identity and change, which Michaux’s store also played into.

Read the full essay here.

Previous post:

Next post: