Malcom X

I had mixed feelings about this week’s reading. For one thing, I would very much call Malcom X an extremist. The reason why I say this is because I comparing the readings last week of MLK. One of the post obivious differences between the two of them is King’s stance on passivism, and Malcom X’s conviction that the race has to completely rid themselves of “white men” in order to thrive as a society. For me, Black Man’s History was hard to get through. Maybe I am missing something that was in plain sight, but I got the impression that Malcom X was not fond of labels whatsoever. I also find it interesting that in this speech, Malcom X’s focal point centers on African Americans understanding their history, but he seems almost offended by the concept of “Black Africa” which goes against pretty much the mainstream thought of the era. I think for many African Americans, being able to link themselves back to Africa, and incorporate those beliefs into who they were as individuals. I also get the sense that for Malcom X, to bring blacks and whites together on the same grounds of equality was his nightmare. In Black Man’s History, Malcom X coins this phrase a lot, but I do very much get the sense that in his eyes, the best thing for blacks was to be self-governing, they could no longer show mercy or really depend on whites to help them, so he very much empathized that the black community needed to only support each other. In addition, I kind of feel like Malcom X manipulated his followers bit. As we can see from the Sernet reading, he knew that money didn’t really matter wealth wasn’t the number one concern for his followers. He knew his audience and I don’t doubt that he very much used that to his advantage. I do understand where he was coming from though. Having only been familiar with one of his speeches prior, I did still get that, “By any means necessary” vibe from him and that’s unsettling for me.

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