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Blue plaque honour for Malcolm X

REMEMBRANCE: Hayles, Brown (centre) and Dardi (right)

MAXIE HAYLES, chair of the Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit (BRAMU), Bini Brown, chair of the African Caribbean Self-Help Organisation and Harbhajan Dardi, assistant general secretary of the Indian Welfare Association, stand alongside a Blue Heritage plaque unveiled on Marshall Street, Smethwick in Birmingham to honour civil rights icon Malcolm X.

Scores of well-wishers turned out on February 21 (the 47th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination) to honour the civil rights leader. He helped change a discriminatory housing policy when he walked down Marshall Street, Smethwick, which, back in 1965, was the focus of a racist campaign to block black and Asian families from buying homes in the road.

He was assassinated in New York nine days later.

The honour was arranged by the Nubian Jak Community Trust, which runs Britain’s only black and ethnic minority national plaque scheme.

Professor Augustus John, who carried out a libation ceremony, said: “The racial tension here in 1965 would have resonated with Malcolm X as he saw his family home firebombed when he was four years old. Two years later he witnessed the killing of his father – events which influenced him to campaign against racist practices.”

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