The Risky Association

A bold strategy to revitalize the N.A.A.C.P. could lead to disaster for the civil rights group and its leader

Life has many quirks," Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is fond of saying. One of the strangest for Farrakhan was sharing a stage last week in Baltimore with a number of African Americans who usually steer clear of him, including Jesse Jackson and Malcolm X's widow Betty Shabazz, who has declared her belief that Farrakhan played a role in her husband's assassination three decades ago. But the person who stirred the most controversy by sitting at Farrakhan's elbow was the man who invited him: Benjamin Chavis, the chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.


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