I Am Malcolm X

i just finished reading this great biography of Malcolm X yesterday. not being a Muslim myself, i still can't see how any black person (especially a black man) can resist feeling a swell of pride at the mention of Malcolm. He remains one of the strongest examples of black masculinity ever seen in American culture, and the arc of his public persona across the length of his career is fasciniating. the way he changes his position on race based on his pilgrimage to Mecca stands as an example of how one should react when confronted with the truth.
the author Andrew Helfer is elegant in his narration and adaptation of quotes for dialogue, and does a good job of letting pictures be worth their thousand words whenever possible. artist Randy DuBurke is good at capturing likenesses and like a film biographer, does a great job of portraying the emotions in scenes that were not privy to the public eye. we are reminded that Malcolm, though he was and remains a giant of history, was a living, breathing, vulnerable man like any other. his greatness comes not from super-power, but from the inner strength of his convictions. this is a great, great book.


rodbuddah said...

And just think... Most kids are lucky just to HEAR a mention of the man's name in schools! Good post man

samax said...

i was NOT one of those lucky kids...
i was in high school the first time i HEARD of him, and it was from my big sister's boyfriend, who was trying to explain the difference between "militant" and "military".

if not for Public Enemy and Spike Lee, Malcolm would be virtually unknown to too many of us!

Roger A Wilbanks said...

I lucked out and read about Malcolm when I first heard about him. The saddest part is that even though he is an icon of history, people still have to 'discover him'.

samax said...

absolutely! A terrible example of the whitewashing of american history. another reason I applaud books like this.

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