Michael X (1933-1975) born Michael de Freitas, was also known under the alias Michael Abdul Malik. A Black Power leader in 1960s Britain, de Freitas made his living from the numerous brothels he ran in London. Self-described as "the most powerful black man in Europe", he was the first black man to be convicted under the Race Relations Act for inciting racial hatred.
Pending trial in Britain for extortion, his bail was paid by John Lennon and, now temporarily free, de Freitas fled to Trinidad and set up an arms trafficking centre in the Caribbean. When his cousin Joseph Skerrit botched an arms deal, de Freitas brutally murdered his relative and buried him in the garden of his commune.
Before leaving for a trip to Guyana, de Freitas set fire to the commune as he had been arguing with its owner. The fire drew the attentions of the police, which led to the discovery of the murdered Skerrit and another body in the garden.
In an attempt to evade capture while in Guyana, de Freitas had shaved his beard and cut his ear. Eventually, however, the authorities apprehended him and he was brought back to Trinidad to stand trial. After two and a half years of appeal, he was put to death at dawn in the gallows, 16th May 1975, while a crowd of some 2,000 people waited outside the jail.
The autographed page measures 7" x 5½". His signature reads: "Peace & Love, Michael Abdul Malik". The swirling, curved letters are inscribed in black marker and sweep upwards diagonally.