Noting the use of rumor within African American communities as a form of dissemblance, this essay examines the controversial reception of Manning Marable’s posthumous biography of Malcolm X, which resuscitates speculation that the slain civil rights icon engaged in sex work with white men during the 1940s. I consider how the denial of these rumors shapes our understanding and memory of Malcolm X while pointedly questioning whether such tools have outlived their usefulness as methods of resistance in the black public sphere.