"Malcolm changed!" they say. As if that was some kinda earth shattering revelation.
So did all of us, including those who actually worked with Malcolm--people like Earl Grant, John Henrik Clarke and Peter Bailey--believe that Malcolm was flawless, that he was incapable of making mistakes, that he never re-evaluated his outlook?
This is a fiction invented by Prof. Manning Marable who then sets himself up to "humanize" Malcolm (what this really means is making Malcolm palatable to a wider white audience with slanders such as the claim that Malcolm, during his Detroit Red days, sexually stimulated a white male patron for cash and that he cheated on his wife Betty) and to "correct" the very myth that he conjured up. Anyone who criticizes Marable's effort to "humanize" Malcolm is castigated for "idolizing" or "deifying" him (Malcolm). These fallacious claims are a disservice to Brother Malcolm's memory and what Malcolm actually taught and insulting to those who actually knew him best.
This short audio (see link at bottom of post) by Attorney Gregory Reed, owner of the "lost" chapters of the Autobiography of Malcolm X, affirms my view that Malcolm X that I have grown to love is not mythic. He was a man. He was human. He made mistakes. Brother Malcolm had flaws just like the rest of us humans. Many of us already understood that. Malcolm told us that. The reading by Brother Gregory Reed affirms the deeply reflective side of Malcolm X. He mentions his wasted years in prison and his "sense of urgency" to "transform" the condition of Black people and Americans generally.
He says that his life is a "mirror" of Black-White relations in America and that the "Negro" problem is a challenge to America's "conscience." By that I think he means that the white majority has been guilty of many centuries of gross abuse of African Americans and that America (i.e. white people) must acknowledge this abuse and make sincere efforts to reverse the damage (psychological, economic, cultural, etc.) that has been done.
Malcolm believed that if his life could serve as an example of how Africans in America can achieve "self esteem, self help, self determination, and self reliance"--principles he first learned from his mother Louise Little and father Earl Little, both prominent members of Marcus Garvey's movement the Universal Negro Improvement Association and later as a star pupil of Elijah Muhammad--then he will have fulfilled his purpose. And, I would add, that the problem has never been that African Americans have not desired to be self-determining but rather that the United States Government has viciously undermined our efforts.
Have a listen at the link below and let me know your impressions. GI
 Malcolm and NOI members were certainly guilty of deification...of Elijah Muhammad. But that is another story for another time.
 Marable expressed his "disappointment" with Reed who only allowed him a very brief look at the "lost" chapters. See The Undiscovered Malcolm X: Stunning New Info on the Assassination @ Democracy Now
- What was Marable thinking? by Abdul Alkalimat
- In Defense of Malcolm X
- Slanderous new book on Malcolm X?
- Negroes with Guns and the Fall of Amerikkka
- Why do black folks love the Kennedys? Does a white liberal agenda = a black freedom agenda?
- The Assassination of Omowale El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X): Videos and Books
- "Who taught you to hate yourself?"
|Malcolm X and Manning Marable|