Alice Windom, photographer and social worker, will appear on Q&A panel after “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” screening

Malcolm in Accra, Ghana, May 1964, holding the Koran given to him by Alhaji Isa Wali, Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana (right). Photo by Alice Windom.

Malcolm in Accra, Ghana, May 1964, holding the Koran given to him by Alhaji Isa Wali, Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana (right).
Photo by Alice Windom.

Washington University Film & Media Archive welcomes Alice Windom as part of a Q&A panel after the Henry Hampton Film Series screening of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.

Alice Windom is an interviewee in the first feature documentary about the world-renowned writer, performer, and activist, Maya Angelou, and will speak on the Q&A panel after the film along with the co-director Rita Coburn Whack, and Eugene Redmond, Poet Laureate of East St. Louis. But this is not the first time Alice Windom has been interviewed for a major documentary. She was also interviewed for the Blackside/ROJA production, Malcolm X: Make it Plain and that complete interview is part of the Henry Hampton Collection housed at Film & Media Archive. The Film Archive also holds copies of her photographs documenting Malcolm X’s visit to Ghana.

Windom was born in St. Louis, Missouri on March 30, 1936 to a family of educators. She attended Sumner High School in St. Louis and went on to college at Central State University (CSU) in Ohio. She eventually earner her Masters of Social Work from the University of Chicago in 1959. She lived and worked in Africa from 1962 to 1964 in Ghana as a secondary school teacher and secretary to the Ethiopian Ambassador. As part of that work, Windom helped plan Malcolm X’s itinerary when he traveled to Ghana and other countries in Africa for several months in 1964, and she was part of a larger group of ex-patriot Americans living in Africa at that time including Maya Angelou, John Henrik Clarke, and W.E.B. DuBois.

Windom captured this historic moment when Malcolm X met with official dignities in Accra, Ghana and Alhaji Isa Wali, Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, presented him with a copy of the Koran. In addition to photographs by Windom, the Film & Media Archive holds an audio pre-interview with Windom and a filmed interview conducted for Malcolm X: Make it Plain.

Windom continued living and working in Africa over the next decade first as an administrative assistant for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa from 1964 to 1968, and then as a social welfare organizer for the Department of Social Welfare in Lusaka, Zambia. She returned to St. Louis in the 1970s and worked as the director of social services at the St. Louis Medium Security Institution, eventually suing the City of St. Louis for racial and sexual discrimination and the denial of free speech.  (Source: The History Makers).

To inquire about the status of these interviews, please contact the Film & Media Archive.

About the author

Reference and Outreach Supervisor in Special Collections.