Malcolm X at the Oxford Union

In December 1964, three months before he was assassinated, Malcolm X took part in a debate at Oxford University. Malcolm spoke for the motion that “extremism in defence of liberty is no vice; moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue”. His electrifying speech was broadcast by the BBC to 2.5 million households across the UK.

Malcolm X at the Oxford Union is the story of a great political thinker on the cusp of engaging a wider audience with a newly defined humanitarian outlook. It is the story of a man becoming more moderate in his views, but whose moderation could only have been reached by extremes. It is also the story of how the young students who invited him to speak went on to alter the foundations of the British establishment, and how Malcolm’s politics and presence helped them do so.