Malcolm X

It is tempting to speculate how the radical politics of the 1960s might have played out had Malcolm X not been assassinated on February 21, 1965. The campaigns for civil rights, for the liberation of people of color domestically and internationally, against the war in Vietnam and other instances of U.S. imperialism, and, above all, the then-nascent efforts to build popular multi-issue mass movements in support of these goals and calling for socialism surely would have benefited from his strong, clear voice and able leadership. Speculation, of course, is idle. But the direction taken by the Black Panthers, the Young Lords, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor Peoples Campaign of the late 1960s, ...

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of Malcolm’s life and work from the perspective of the present.

—The Editors

The life of Malcolm X, who was murdered forty years ago this month, spanned a trajectory from oppression and victimization to inchoate rebellion and revolutionary autonomy. His was a voyage from resistance to an informed radicalism. It was a journey from which he ultimately gathered political and historical insight which, combined with his tools of persuasion and skills at leadership, made him at the time of his death arguably the most dangerous figure in this country’s history to confront its ruling class. For us, forty years later, Malcolm’s life is also informative: both about the destructive encounters that Africans, Asians, Latins, and indigenous peoples have had with this country, its culture and its history, and how deeply domestic resistance to that oppression is embedded in the global anti-imperialist struggle.

Malcolm was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925. While pregnant with him, his ...

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being a nigger.”

The amalgam of everyday racism, historic and institutionalized white supremacy, and the Great Depression found Malcolm vainly looking for work, moving to Boston and New York, running numbers for gamblers and dealing cocaine, heroin, and women. A junkie himself, he became a burglar and, inevitably, was caught, convicted of multiple crimes, and sentenced by a Massachusetts court to ten years in prison. There, in events movingly recounted in The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm went through a kind of “conversion,” curing himself of his drug addictions and a propensity to extreme violence. Malcolm fortuitously met a long-serving ex-thief who introduced him to the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/9/2013 09:51:54 PM
Submitted By: True_Toad
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2537
Pages: 10

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