State and Federal responses

Response to Malcolm X

Malcolm X was viewed as a threat to stability because the government was afraid that as his popularity increased and the Nation of Islam grew, the likelihood of violence and disorder would escalate.

They were scared he could start riots across the country.

Due to these fears the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tracked Malcolm X’s movements.

His telephone conversations were recorded and he was followed on his overseas trips.

The FBI compiled over seventy reports on Malcolm X during their surveillance.

Response to Stokely Carmichael

Stokely Carmichael had been known to the authorities since 1961.

As he became more outspoken and his views more radical, he attracted the attention of the FBI.

After joining the Black Panthers, Carmichael was under constant surveillance by the FBI.

The assassination of Martin Luther King sparked riots across the USA, J Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, instructed a team of agents to find evidence connecting Carmichael to the rioting in Washington DC.

When Carmichael denounced the USA’s involvement in the Vietnam War, his passport was confiscated and held for ten months.