By Any Means Necessary
The Schomburg Center
The 2019-2020 class of the Schomburg Center’s Junior Scholars Program is pleased to present By Any Means Necessary, a digital project based in part on a yearlong study of Malcolm X. By Any Means Necessary responds to the materials from the extraordinary collection of personal and professional papers and memorabilia of Malcolm X held at the Schomburg Center (now available for research) as well as other collections from the Schomburg Center, producing provocative and informative perspectives on the teachings of the 20th-century icon known variously as Malcolm Little, “Detroit Red,” Malcolm X, and El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.
Junior Scholars started with questions about the social and intellectual journey that transformed Malcolm Little into El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. They read The Autobiography of Malcolm X and ventured into our Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Division to read and study his papers in the Malcolm X Collection, which consisted of personal correspondence, letters, photos, and an unpublished chapter of his autobiography titled “The Negro.” The Junior Scholars interpreted their research through art projects (dance, visual arts, spoken word, theater). Each project contains interpretive answers and responses to issues Malcolm X confronted during his life. As researchers and artists, Junior Scholars pursued the process driving Malcolm’s critical and intellectual quest for truth about himself, his family, his people, his country, and his world.
More importantly, our Junior Scholars intended for this project to record and archive their experiences as Black youth in the midst of a global pandemic and an unfolding, unique historical moment. During the months in which our scholars worked on this, they were experiencing a world in turmoil. Collectively, we witnessed Black lives cut brutally short, families severed, and communities traumatized -- already a reality for them before George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and COVID-19.
Yet, our scholars persevered in the face of great challenges. Collectively, they showed up for each other. And now, they are proud to share their work with you. The scholars hope that this project will serve as a place where visitors can start to heal, face hard truths, and tell truth to power...by any means necessary.
- Kadiatou Tubman, Junior Scholars Program Director