Dancing in the Dark

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Beatrice (Caragulian) Bazarian — ‘Sophia’ — as she appeared in her 1940 Watertown High School yearbook

And that Malcolm was involved in a race-traversing romance in America’s brutally segregated 1940s nearly two decades before Mildred and Richard Loving were arrested for their own taboo-taunting marriage in 1958 provides early evidence of Detroit Red’s insurrectionary streak long before it manifested itself in his revolutionary reincarnation as Malcolm X.

The significance of a romance as defiant of societal gravity as that between Malcolm and Bea in the racial Dark Ages that was Forties America must therefore be accorded the status of a civil liberties milestone in its own right. In his brazen flouting of racial etiquette by flaunting an upper middle-class blonde in broad segregationist daylight, Malcolm displayed rebellious tendencies that merit recognition as a portent of the political revolutionary he was to later become.

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Undated photo of the young Malcolm X Little as he may have appeared at the time of meeting ‘Sophia’
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Malcolm and ‘Sophia’ as they appeared in their 1946 mugshots (Beatrice Bazarian mugshot courtesy of: the Massachusetts Archives — HS9.06/series 515. Inmate case files, Framingham Reformatory. Beatrice Bazarian, #17977. Massachusetts Archives. Boston, Massachusetts.)
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Grainy photo of the elderly ‘Sophia’ as she appeared shortly before her passing in 2012
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Gravestone for the late Beatrice Bazarian and husband Mehran Martin Bazarian