Life and Times of Louis E. Lomax
-Reflections on an African American Writer-
Lomax was born August 16, 1922 in Valdosta, Georgia; there he had been
a minister/pastor with a church. He was married to Deloris Lomax, who
divorced him when he was incarcerated in Joliet Prison from 1949-54. * He
died July 30, 1970 in a car accident.
He was educated at Paine College in Augusta,
graduating in 1942, and later at American University (M.A., 1944), and
Yale (Ph.D., 1947).** He taught philosophy briefly at Georgia State
College in Savannah, worked as a newspaper reporter, for Baltimore Afro-American
and Chicago American until 1958; later a freelance magazine
journalist and author of books including The Reluctant African
(1960), The Negro Revolt (1962), When the Word Is Given: A
Report on Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Black Muslim World (1963), Thailand:
The War That Is, The War That Will Be (1967), and To Kill a Black
1959, with Mike Wallace, Lomax interviewed Malcolm X for documentary on
the Nation of Islam, The Hate That Hate Produced. And from 1964 to 1968
Lomax hosted twice-weekly a Los Angeles television show on KTTV; he
lectured widely on college campuses.
His work was quite extensive in
reporting on the Civil Right Movement and various groups, such as the
Black Panthers and The Nation of Islam. He wrote many books on Blacks
during that time.***
The FBI followed him extensively to see if he was
connected to the Communist Party and became almost obsessed with his
relations a white woman. He died in automobile accident near
Santa Rosa, New Mexico.
* From the FBI's files on him, he was arrested and found
guilty of a Confidence Game. Lomax did not want some of the
FBI's facts on him to be known, especially the fact that he was a
minister and in prison. The FBI has an extensive file on him. That file is
an interesting profile of white American men's obsession with Black men
sleeping with white women. [See FBI Files on Lomax
are an interesting read!]
**This aspect of his education is confusing when
reading the FBI's file on him.
***His books include the following: To Kill a Black
Man: The Shocking Parallel in the Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther
King Jr; When the Word Is Given....: A Report on Elija Muhammed, Malcolm X
and the Black Muslim World; When the Word Is Given....: A Report on Elija
Muhammed, Malcolm X and the Black Muslim World and others.