About Malcolm X


Freedom is a lost treasure that a lot of people searching for and only a little of us were able to enjoy. We wanted to learn something about the man who was not given that much attention in our school history and presented almost as a footnote to the history of Dr. Martin Luther king and other human right activists. The Malcolm x movie which was directed by Spike Lee talks about a man who's dreams were killed when he was child, arrested and mentally colonized. But then this man founds the power within himself to rise out the ashes of injustice and hatred and be someone that no one had imaged he would be. This paper compares the movie with the literatures and history documented about this great man.


Malcolm X,born as Malcolm Little also lately known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was born in May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was an African-American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist. He was a strong man who fought for the rights of African Americans and who indicted white Americans in the harshest terms for their crimes against black Americans. His father, who was killed by the white KKK (Ku Klux Klan) movement, was an outspoken Baptist minister and follower of Marcus Garvey, the Black Nationalist leader in the 1920s who advocated a "back-to-Africa" movement for African Americans. Malcolm, his detractors accused him of preaching racism, black supremacy, and violence. He has been described as one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.

The Movie of Malcolm X which was directed by Spike Lee had made a very great job of showing history in great detail. In the movie, Malcolm X is similar to a hero, even though he had his bad times in life. Malcolm X story is mostly considered as overview of the African American experiences at the chaotic years of the civil rights movement. It is both amazing and very much inspiring story. In the story we see a man who grows from a very low life and low mentality to strong, charismatic and electrifying speaker of the 20th century. Our group will be analyzing the main differences or things that weren't mentioned in the movie but had some great deals in the life of El-Hajj Malik.

In our opinion, Alex Haley's novel and Spike Lee's interpretation to the movie were both good presentations of Malcolm X's life and ideals. Both the movie of Lee and the book written by Alex talk in detail about the life of the great human right activist Malcolm. However the book and some literatures have some very important events that weren't covered on the movie. Therefore, we are going to focus on the main issues that weren't been shown on the Malcolm X's movie but mentioned on Malcolm's biography.

Some of the differences we tried to point out were in the early life of Black American people.On the book of Malcom x's it is mention that "the black American were not allowed to live in some of the American state and little of them were living but they weren't allowed to go out after 9 pm "but the Movie did not mention these tragedy. Malcolm mentions this tragedy when he was talking about how he went Boston, and the prominent role of his sister Ella to attract blacks to Boston, which also helped him get a job there. The move just shows just one aspect of his work experiences but as Malcolm memorial book shows, he went through a lot of job in Boston like soda jerk, busboy, waiter, and railroad dining car waiter. At this point he began a criminal life that included gambling, selling drugs, burglary, and hustling.

2. Childhood

Other important issue that wasn't clearly mentioned in the movie was the childhood of Malcolm. The problems he faced in childhood and the influences that surrounded him were shown as a little or seconds of flash backs. However this childhood time had a lot of impact on his growth, late behavior and thinking against the white man. For instance when he was young his father was keen to take him to the church in the city, "Lansing" where he use to attend political meetings with his father in the "Assembly of the progress of the Negro," which were trying to free the African American people at that time. They had strong slogans of anti-white, and struggle toward freedom. His father who was their leader always use to conclude his speeches by saying. "Forward, you are strong, you can achieve miracles.This shows that Malcolm's becoming eloquent speaker and accepting the struggle against the white wasn't something new rather it was in his blood since he was child.

Also his mother who was half white because of the rape that happened to her MOM had a very big influence on him to have this struggle in his life. His mother hated here light skin b/c of the torture and humiliation that happened on her family and use to say to Malcolm "Get out to the sun and let you wipe the pale. "Furthermore, Malcolm when he was child he was sentenced to reform because of his treatment for his teacher..This shows that Malcolm, since he was child he never found peace in his heart until he spoke publicly against the oppressors.

2.1 Hobbies

Most of Malcolm X's hobbies weren't shown in the movie. In the movie we just see small portion which is the music part. But he had several hobbies before becoming burglar or later a minister. For instance Malcolm loved wrestling which was a sport that was admired and loved by all the African Americans at that time. One of his idol boxer was the African American boxer Joe Lewis who won the world heavy weight on June 27, 1937. Although they didn't succeed Joe helped Malcolm and his brother to join the boxing club by paying for them. And that is why Malcolm was strong and aggressive person before he became a Muslim and a member of Nation of Islam.

There were some parts he spoke against the Jewish and their racism but this part was not covered in the movie may be because it show the Jewish oppression of black people, or may be the video maker fear of Jewish!

Malcolm's brothers and sisters weren't shown in the Movie. But they were making a very big efforts and participated in several struggles against the white to get their freedom .Malcolm in his book mentioned that he went to his brother in Detroit, and thought something about Islam and went to the mosque and influenced the morality of Muslims in the mosque drew attention neutral terms: the first says: "Islam: freedom, justice, equality," and the other written on the American flag, namely: "Slavery: pain, death ". The film did not focus on it when he was there in Detroit this period was one of the most important periods for him to know about true Islam, as Malcolm says in his biography.

The other weakness of the movie was, it didn't cover that much about Malcolm's international travels and relations ships with many famous people around the globe. For instance, in the Movie we see Malcolm making the hajj pilgrimage but we don't see how he was able to get there. Our group made some research in this area and found a lot of amazing and surprising things on the travel of hajj and other countries too.

3. Peligrimage

The pilgrimage is the most important point in the life of Malcolm X, which changed his philosophy of Islam and made him to take his own independent view. As a result, he started to think seriously about the separation of him from Nation of Islam's Ideology and thinking of the white man as a devil. In the book of malcom x written by Alex, Hajj Malik described how he got the visa to Saudi Arabia and who helped him in the process.

In the eyes of the Saudi scholars at the time, Malcolm wasn't considered as a Muslim rather they considered him as a non believer. And non Muslims to enter to Mecca was very impossible and forbidden. Malcolm mentions in his biographical book that a person called Dr. Mahmud Yusuf helped him to reach Mecca. Dr Mahmud was the person who gave Malcolm a very useful recommendation and endorsement of being a Muslim. Furthermore, Dr Mahmud was the person who gave him the names and phone number of the important people who helped him to enter Mecca and make his pilgrimage.
After all the hardships he faced to enter Mecca, the world finally smiled, for Haj Malik Shabaz at last to enter the sacred city, to see with his own eyes unlawfulness of which he was living in and to witness a new kind of Islamic brotherhood and Arab hospitality. This hospitality had very great influence in his later life.

However, Lee's film did not shed light on this important period in the life of Hajj Malik Shabaz, not even the idea of giving the viewer the way of entry to Mecca, which was supposed to be a very crucial pint to be mentioned in the life of Hajj Malik Shabaz.

Moreover, film Director Lee did not mention that Shabaz met Saudi King Faisal, which is considered as important topic, especially as it has had a significant impact on the personal and ideological life of Malcolm X. Historians and other close friends of malcom believe that malcom changed his ideology sice he met King Fisal;In addition, he also changed his name to El-Hajj Malik Shabaz. When Shabaz met King Faisal, who told him: "What followed by Black Muslims in America is not the true Islam, Malcolm started wondering what true Muslim is and how he can follow this religion in the correct way to free his people. These decisions led him to separate himself from nation of Islam.

After that , Malcolm left Jeddah in April 1964, and for two weeks he visited a number of Arab and African countries .He then realized and saw what has wasn't able to see in 39 years of his life. He figured out that his famous formula of "condemn all white = condemn all black. This wonderful time is all clearly and beautifully stated in Malcolm's biography as a whole chapter but we weren't able to see on the movie which make us wonder why ? The film did not focus on all those important events about El-Hajj Malik.

The Return of Malcolm to America

Our group was able to analyze further on the life of Malcolm after returning back to America from his journey to Mecca and Africa. This time was a very important time, because Malcolm's taking new ways of calling to freedom created fear on all the American black and white movements. The white movements who were mainly using the black movements as a tool to show the white Americans how much they the black movements hate them started to lose this power. Also the black movements who had the ideology of the white men as a devil didn't want to hear this new idea because they didn't want to lose their power in their own people. But Malcolm didn't care about all this; he believed the coexistence of white and the black as brothers in the same country. This treatment of a non-racial brotherhood of human beings regardless of color, and calling for coexistence between whites and blacks made some his brothers to turn against him but also opened a peaceful dialogue from his enemies' side.

Malcolm also founded new independent Organization for the African-American. The U.S Newspapers refrained themselves from publishing anything about this new direction of Malcolm. Also some African American movements, mainly Nation of Islam followers started accusing him of inciting with the enemy. But Malcolm never stopped the struggle he had to freedom rather he continued in a stronger and smarter way. When the Nation of Islam asked him why he changed his believe , he said: "When the explosion of social factors need to exist for those who provoke the masses, and worship the one God will bring people to the peace that people talk about but do not do anything to achieve it ". As a result of this new ideas which were completely against the basic principles of his old movement Nation of Islam, caused him several life threats and in the end cost him his life.

After saying all this about the major differences of Malcolm's biography and the movie, let's come back to the similarities too. Our group believes the movie in general was correct and had true story of Malcolm's life.

we blive the movie Inside of similarities there are a lot of similarities specially when the movie talked about Malcolm-x family and the early age of Malcolm-x ,and the bad things that he was do like illegal work which was the chapter 7th in the Malcolm-x 's book and the time before prison or chapter 9th "Satan

In one of his lectures on Sunday (February 21, 1965) Malcolm stepped up to deliver his lecture, and the brawl in the ninth grade between two of the audience, that turned people to them, and at the same time, three individuals from the first 16 bullets on the chest of this man, flow whom blood profusely, and went out the soul from the prison of the body. The New York police arrest perpetrators of the crime, confessed to the Nation of Islam, ironically, one month after the assassination of Malcolm X, President George Johnson, a legal decree approved the voting rights for blacks, and ended the official use of the word "Niger"; which was released on Negroes in America.

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