Nebraska’s Malcolm X Hall of Fame Controversy

Culture Trip

The ongoing dispute regarding the nomination of Malcolm X to the Nebraska Hall of Fame can be interpreted as contemporary evidence of the progressive value of Malcolm’s legacy and how his ideas still distress conservative segments of the U.S. nearly 50 years after his assassination.
Malcom X | Herman Hiller, World Telegram staff photographer | Wiki Commons
Backed up by Malcolm’s elder daughter, Attallah Shabazz, and the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, the candidature has been the pivot of an increasing controversy since April of 2004, when former U.S. Senator Kenneth Wherry was inducted, allegedly as a way to prevent Malcolm’s selection. Senator Wherry, who died in 1951, was mostly known for his efforts to prevent homosexuals participating in the U.S. government during the 40s and early 50s, as well as for endorsing the establishment of the United States strategic Air Command near Omaha. Curiously enough, Wherry’s election – which occurred through a secret ballot – was considered illegal and the decision was revoked. After initially setting a new meeting to re-vote in June of 2004, the commission announced the postponement of its decisive meeting to 2005. When the moment finally came neither Wherrey or Malcolm, but Botany and Horticulture professor Charles E. Bessey was inducted as permanent member of Nebraska’s Hall of Fame for the period 2005-09. The candidature of Wherry was not even presented – or accepted – for the next induction, comprising the period between 2010-14.

Nebraska Hall of Fame

The little time Malcolm X – originally from Omaha, Neb., – spent in the state before moving on to Detroit after several incidents involving racial violence is supposedly the reason why he was not selected to integrate the state’s Hall of Fame in 2004. However, Nebraska public figures as well as members of the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation and the independent media allege it is extremely difficult for a figure such as Malcolm X to integrate the Hall of Fame of a ‘white-dominated, extremely conservative state’ where ‘most of the people don’t know anything about Malcolm, and some of those who do have more erroneous information than accurate information’, as said by former Nebraska state senator Ernest Chambers.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article