Malcolm X will be the Nebraska Hall of Fame's next inductee

Sept. 12, 2022, 6 p.m. ·

Malcolm X smiles at a press conference
Malcolm X, born in Omaha in 1925.

After months of testimony and deliberation, the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission voted in civil rights legend Malcolm X.

The deciding vote came from commission chairman Ron Hull.

“We believe in the Bill of Rights that all men are created equal," he said. "We have to be reminded of these because people have to fight for these rights all their lives."

Of the three finalists for the Hall of Fame this year, four commission members voted for Malcolm X, three for Emma Louise Pound and none for Howard Hanson. After the tally, the commission approved a motion to make the vote for Malcolm X unanimous.

The civil rights leader was born in Omaha in 1925.

Schmeeka Simpson, tour director for the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, said the decision to induct Malcolm X, the Hall of Fame's first Black candidate, is the payoff to decades of work from his supporters.

“It just feels like a release," Simpson said. "We’ve done a lot of organizing and work on behalf of this. And not just this year, it’s been a 30 year thing for us to try and get Malcolm X in the Hall of Fame."

Malcolm X was a prominent figure during the civil rights movement. The famed yet controversial figure was a Muslim minister and became famous for his Black empowerment speeches. The bust of Malcolm X will be placed at the capitol building in 2024.

Editor's note: Ron Hull is a special advisor at Nebraska Public Media.