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Queens Chronicle

East Elm Malcolm X bust a bust

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Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2011 12:00 am

An idea put forth in 2007 to place a bust honoring black nationalist Malcolm X at his former East Elmhurst home was abandoned due to both lack of funding and support, according to one of the project’s leaders, Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, executive director of the Queens Council on the Arts.

“There weren’t enough people willing to get behind the project or to invest time and resources,” Krakauer said Monday. “We needed community partners. It was a tough time to raise money.”

Asked if she thought Malcolm X’s often controversial views on race relations were behind the lack of support, Krakauer said she did not.

“A lot of people were interested in the idea, they just didn’t follow through,” she said. “They missed meetings.”

Krakauer said despite what she or others may think of Malcolm X’s philosophy, he was a member of the community and deserves to be remembered.

She was working on the project with then City Councilman Hiram Monserrate, but has not discussed the idea with his successor, Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst). Asked if the idea would be reconsidered in the future, Krakauer replied, “Anything is possible.”

— AnnMarie Costella

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