Dallas activist gaining recognition for Malcolm X documentary he inspired

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: April 26, 2018

The late Dr. Dennis Simon, an Southern Methodist University political science professor, appears in Malcolm X: An Overwhelming Influence on the Black Power Movement.

Ubiquitous Dallas activist Thomas Muhammad is adding yet another feather to his cap of diverse involvements. This time, he’s the inspiration behind a new documentary on black nationalist and former Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X that is making the rounds nationally.

Muhammad conceived and co-produced Malcolm X: An Overwhelming Influence on the Black Power Movement. His other accomplishments include being chair of the National Black United Front’s Dallas chapter and co-founder and board vice president of the South Dallas/Fair Park Innercity Community Development Corp.

The film has captured attention around the nation, including support from noted actors, national civil rights leaders, Malcolm X’s relatives, educators, and Dallas area notables. These include the Rev. Zan Wesley Holmes Jr., who appears in the film; media personality Bob Ray Sanders, who narrates; and the late Dr. Dennis Simon, a Southern Methodist University professor who frequently took students on a pilgrimage to civil rights sites across the South. Simon died shortly after taking part in the documentary. The film was shot by local videographer Evans Risher.

“If I left the planet tomorrow, the one contribution that will last forever is this film,” Muhammad said, describing his many experiences while traveling the country doing filming and later at private screenings.

A VIP reception for the film will be at 10:30 a.m. May 12 and the first public screening in Dallas at noon the same day at Inspiring Body of Christ church, 7701 S. Westmoreland Ave. The date is set to coincide with the birthday of Malcolm X, who was born May 19, 1925, and assassinated Feb. 21, 1965 at age 39.

The documentary was filmed in various cities and features interviews with people who knew the leader at various stages of his life. Some were present when he was slain. Others assess his influence on civil rights and self-determination then and now. Journalist, author and lecturer A. Peter Bailey, a close cohort with Malcolm X’s, is a central source in the documentary.

A slew of local leaders, national civil rights personalities and members of Malcolm X’s family will attend the Dallas screening. Among them is Mary Liuzzo, who is the daughter of Viola Liuzzo, a white civil rights activist and mother of five from Michigan who was murdered by the KKK while demonstrating in Selma, Ala., in 1965. Also planning to attend are two of Malcolm X’s daughters and LeRoy Moton, who was a teenager riding in the car with Liuzzo when she was slain.

In addition to Holmes, other local figures planning to attend the screening are Dr. Michael Bowie Jr., Dr. Frederick Haynes III, and the Rev. Rickie Rush.

Copies of the documentary on DVD are available. To learn more, call 214-460-7672 or email tmuhammad2003@yahoo.com. READ MORE

By | 2018-04-30T08:14:13+00:00 April 30th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Political Science|Comments Off on Dallas activist gaining recognition for Malcolm X documentary he inspired