The History That James Baldwin Wanted America to See
On March 16, 1968, James Baldwin walked to the podium at a fund-raiser, at Anaheim’s Disneyland Hotel, to introduce Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Baldwin had recently arrived in Los Angeles from New York, after Columbia Pictures had bought the rights to Alex Haley’s “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and asked Baldwin to write the script. Though eager, he had ended up fighting desperately to bring his story of Malcolm to the screen. Baldwin wanted Billy Dee Williams to play the lead, but the studio had other actors in mind. There were even rumors that someone had suggested a darkened Charlton Heston.