Louis Emanuel Lomax was born on August 16, 1922. He was an African-American journalist and author. He was born in Valdosta, Georgia, United States of America to Emanuel C. Smith and Sarah Louise Lomax. He was also the first African-American television reporter.
Before he graduated in 1942 from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia he became the editor of the student newspaper. He completed his M.A from American University in 1944 and P.hD. from Yale University in 1947. Lomax started his journalism career in two newspapers naming Afro-American and Chicago Defender. Both of these newspapers had a lot of African-American readers, and the newspapers also focused on news related to African-Americans.
In 1959 a colleague of Lomax told him about Nation of Islam, and its leader Elijah Muhammad. Lomax together with his co-worker Mike Wallace produced a five-part documentary. The documentary was called “The Hate That Hate Produced. It was aired during the week of July 13, 1959. It was through this documentary that many white people started to know about Nation of Islam, its leader Elijah Muhammad. This documentary also described the life of Malcolm X.
He was a supporter of several civil rights organizations, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Congress of Racial Equality, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, He used to write on subjects such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther Party. He became a freelance writer and used to publish articles in Harper’s, Life Pageant, The Nation and The New Leader. He hosted a television program at KKTV in Los Angeles. He was awarded the Anisfield-wolf book Award for his book, The Reluctant African.
His famous works are;
- When the Word Is Given: A Report on Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and the Black Muslim World(1963)
- Thailand: The War That Is, The War That Will Be(1967).
- To Kill a Black Man: The Shocking Parallel in the Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.(1968)
- The Negro Revolt(1962)
Lomax died in a car crash on July 30. 1970. He was returning to New York from the West Coast. Bystanders reported that he was traveling at a very high speed and lost control of the vehicle. Lomax was not wearing his seat belt, and upon impact, he was thrown out of the car. He died instantly due to the head and internal injuries.
I read, When the Word is Given, and I have not been the same since then. Haven’t believed in the, turn you cheek philosophy, after reading this book.