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Press Release
June 2, 2021

On June 13, 2021 the Dorsey Art Gallery: LPD Brooklyn Arts Foundation will host a book signing with Tamara Payne for The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X. Written by Les Payne with his daughter Tamara, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X is the winner of the 71st National Book Awards 2020 for Nonfiction.

Les Payne is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, columnist, former Newsday editor and founder of the National Association of Black Journalist. Tamara Payne was the principle researcher and co-author of this seminal biography of Malcolm X’s transformative commitment to liberation and freedom. Following the untimely death of Mr. Payne, in 2018 at 76 years old, Tamara Payne finished her father’s
labor of love. In 1990, Les Payne endeavored on a three- decade journey using his investigative experiences and skills to identify people who personally knew Malcolm X. The resulting biographical portrait of Malcolm X includes hundreds of hours of interviews and perspectives from family, friends, FBI operatives, police, collaborators, influencers, political and national leaders.

The book traces Malcolm’s life: 1925 birth, childhood, street fighter, devoted Muslim, spokesman, continuous catalyst and representative for revolutionary change, and his ultimate death in 1965. The investigative work presents an unprecedented and intimate re-telling of Malcolm X’s story with the aim of separating fact and hyperbolic fiction to unearth heroic and historic truth.

The deeply sourced biography of one of America’s most epic figures is a winner: 52nd NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – biography • 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction • TIME Magazine’s - 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2020 • New York Times Notable Book of 2020 and Editors' Choice Selection • Best Books of 2020: NPR, Washington Post, Library Journal, Chicago Public Library • Excerpt appearing in The New Yorker • Nominee - 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Best Books of Fall 2020: O, the Oprah Magazine, The Week, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Malcolm X’s story has been told by many authors seeking to reveal and expound the significance, purposes and visions of the man. The most popularized version is “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” written in 1965 by Alex Haley in collaboration with Malcolm X; published months after Malcolm’s assassination in 1965, it remains the most read, engaging and flourished account of Malcolm’s life dramatizing his many individual phases, voyages and spiritual transformations. Manning Marable’s “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” is an accounting of the evolution of Malcolm’s ideas, from his early rigid anti-White worldview to his late conversion to a more inclusive Pan-Africanism. The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, the Payne’s biographical purpose is to clear factual disputes and provide firsthand accounts from people who were present, adding an important viewpoint necessary to continued understanding of Malcolm’s story.

This past year of racial reckoning has again demonstrated that the struggle continues, “A Luta Continua”. Malcolm X is one of the most consequential leaders of the 20th Century whose story and example remains essential. Join, Tamara Payne for a book signing and discussion on June 13, 2021 at 3pm until 5pm at Dorsey’s Art Gallery 553 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11225; telephone: 718-771-3803 – –

Dorsey’s Art Gallery: LPD Brooklyn Arts Foundation
Founded by Lawrence P. Dorsey in 1970, Dorsey’s Art gallery is the oldest, continuously community-based Black owned art gallery in New York City. Mr. Dorsey who as a master framer, patron and collector of the arts created a haven for artists and collectors. Master and emerging artists alike found support and an outlet to exhibit works and develop relationships with interested patrons. Nurturing appreciation, education and accessibility in the arts, the Gallery has maintained its long presence and respectful relationship within its Brooklyn community. The artists whose have called Dorsey friend include Ernest Critchlow. Tom Feelings, Ann Tanksley, Robert Blackburn, Otto Neals, James Denmark, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett and many more…

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Les Payne

Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Les Payne grew up in Hartford, CT. Payne was a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, columnist and former Newsday editor responsible for national/state/foreign and health & science news at the paper for a quarter century.

Payne also served as the Editor of New York Newsday. His news staffs won every major award in journalism, including six Pulitzer Prizes. The Inaugural Professor for the David Laventhol Chair, at Columbia U. Graduate School of Journalism, Payne received 4 honorary doctorate degrees, including the 2012 honor from Old Dominion University; and from his alma mater, the University of Connecticut, where he delivered the Commencement Address.

Some of Payne’s major investigations as a Newsday reporter included: migrant farm laborers on Long Island; involuntary sterilization of minority women; U.S. Atomic testing in Nevada; illegal immigrants;

The Black Panther Party, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Payne was also the author of the "The Life and Death of the Symbionese Liberation Army,” the radical group that kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst and terrorized the West Coast. As a correspondent for Newsday, Payne reported extensively from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and the United Nations.


In the wake of the 1976 Soweto uprising, he traveled throughout South Africa and wrote an 11-part Newsday series that the Pulitzer Prize jury selected for the 1978 award in international reporting; it would have been his second Pulitzer in four years, an accomplishment unprecedented for a reporter at that time. The Review Board overturned the committee’s selection and, without explanation, gave it to the jury’s 4th choice, the New York Times. The author, editor, and social critic delivered the prestigious H. L. Mencken Lecture at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Payne lectured frequently about social and political issues, the future of journalism, African art, and liberation movements in the U.S. and in Southern Africa.


As a founder, and the 4th president, of the National Association of Black Journalists, Payne worked diligently to improve media fairness and employment practices and to expand the coverage of black and Third World communities. He also co-founded the “Trotter Group,” a national organization of newspaper writers of commentary. Payne served six years as a Ranger in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of captain. He commanded a Nike-Hercules anti-aircraft missile battery, and during an assignment in Vietnam, ran the command newspaper as an army journalist, and wrote messages and speeches for Commanding Gen. William C. Westmoreland.

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Tamara Payne is the co-author of The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X written with her father, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Les Payne. Tamara graduated from William Smith College, Geneva, NY. After graduating, she worked at McNeil/Lehrer NewsHour on channel Thirteen for about a year.


Tamara then moved to China where she taught English for two years in the Shandong Province. Upon her return from China, Les Payne, her father, brought her on to work on the book, as the principal researcher. After Les Payne’s sudden passing in 2018, Tamara made it her purpose to finish his life’s work. Tamara Payne is a photographer and had a group show at the Dorsey Art Gallery in 2017.


Tamara Payne

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