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Free Study Guide-The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X-Free Notes
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Chapters 12 & 13

Summary (continued)

In less than an hour, about fifty young men of the 'Fruit of Islam' reached the police station where Hinton was taken by the white cops. The 'Fruit of Islam' was the youth organization of the Nation, where young blacks were trained for unarmed combat and drill. On that fateful night fifty young men stood in rank formation outside the precinct house. Soon there was a crowd of onlookers, who gathered around the place, curious and excited. As soon as Malcolm X arrived, some members ask the police for brother Hinton. The police initially deny that Hinton was in the police station. After a while they admit that he was indeed brought to the police station. However, neither Malcolm X nor the other members are allowed to see Hinton. At this, Malcolm tells the Police that they will not leave the place till they are allowed to meet Hinton and he is given proper medical treatment.


By now, the police had become nervous due to the crowd that was swarming outside the station. To prevent trouble, they let Malcolm X in to see Hinton. Hinton lay inside, unconscious and covered in blood. At Malcolm's instructions, the police called for an ambulance and brother Hinton is taken to the Harlem hospital. The Muslim men followed the ambulance in loose formation. The crowds behind them increased in number as they followed the ambulance. The police official became nervous and asked Malcolm to disperse the crowd. To this Malcolm informed the officer that his brothers (from the Fruit of Islam) were disciplined and will do no harm. When the police pointed out that the others who were following his men were not disciplined, Malcolm politely replied that 'those others' were not his concern but the concern of the police.

The crowds dispersed only when the Doctors informed Malcolm that Brother Hinton was receiving proper care. Much later they learnt that the Doctors had to put a steel plate into Brother Hinton's skull. After this operation, the Nation helped Hinton to sue and the jury awarded him over $ 70,000, the largest amount paid against police brutality in New York, until then.

After this public show of strength by the Nation of Islam, the media, the police, and the public in general sat up and took notice of the Black Muslim organization. The entire Harlem Ghetto was buzzing about 'those Muslims.'

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