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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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Malcolm X was the catalyst for a much more militant and global response to European

colonialism and AmeriKKKan oppression. His speeches and his fearlessness were a beacon

showing the way to manhood to a new generation of Blacks.



Books by & About Malcolm X

Malcolm X: The Man and His Times  /  Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X  / Martin and Malcolm and America 

Ghosts in Our Blood: With Malcolm X in Africa, England, and the Caribbean

 The Black Muslims in America The Autobiography of Malcolm X  / Malcolm X Speaks / By Any Means Necessary

February 1965: The Final Speeches  / For Malcolm: Poems on the Life and Death of Malcolm X

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Remembering Malcolm X

May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

By Junious Ricardo Stanton
You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.—Malcolm X


It is right and proper to pause and remember the life, legacy and works of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz also known as Malcolm X on his natal day. His dedication and sacrifice for the upliftment and liberation of our people are exemplary. Malcolm Little aka “Red” aka Malcolm X aka EL Hajj  Malik El Shabazz is a shining example of transformation, personal  redemption, true manhood, integrity and courage in an age of wholesale  emasculation, cowardice, mindless treacherous self-negation. Many of us are familiar with his story, how he was born into a family who were supporters of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

His father Earl Little was a fiery and courageous preacher who was an organizer for the UNIA. His father died under mysterious circumstances which left a gaping hole in the family structure.

Malcolm’s mother who was suddenly forced to raise her family without the support of her murdered husband suffered a nervous breakdown and was institutionalized. The family was scattered, forced to live in foster homes and with relatives. Young Malcolm was naturally bright but his intellect was not nurtured in the white schools he attended in Michigan. Like many black boys, then and now, his white teachers discouraged him and deliberately attempted to crush his spirit and frustrate his dreams of becoming a lawyer.

Eventually Malcolm left the Mid-West and went to stay with a half sister in the Boston area where he fell into the thug life which landed him in jail. While incarcerated, Malcolm was introduced to the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. Malcolm was accepted into the organization and began training in its doctrines and philosophy. His mental agility and love of earning helped him grow and demonstrate his natural leadership skills which were soon recognized within the NOI . Malcolm went on to become one of the NOI’s top organizers and recruiter and eventually became the national spokesman for Mr Muhammad and the Nation of Islam.

His subsequent rift with the Nation led to his suspension and eventual departure from the NOI. Nevertheless, Malcolm used that situation to expand his horizons and offer a broader message of liberation, political engagement, and global awareness. Once out from under the constraints of the Nation of Islam and their parochial message Malcolm attempted to link up with world leaders in an effort to bring the United States before the World Court for its crimes against Africans in America and its imperialist and genocidal policies around the world. His activities caused the US government much concern and so he was “neutralized” to use their language in a futile effort to halt the rise of African consciousness and liberation.

Malcolm X was the catalyst for a much more militant and global response to European colonialism and AmeriKKKan oppression. His speeches and his fearlessness were a beacon showing the way to manhood to a new generation of Blacks. Hence the plutocrats exploited ideological differences between Malcolm and the NOI and used them as a cover for his assassination. They killed Malcolm but not the movement he ignited. Malcolm was the direct progenitor of the Black Power, Black Arts, Black Consciousness and Pan-African movements still alive today. Despite his assassination and the vicious counter insurgency activities of the US government like COINTELPRO, Operation CHAOS and the militarization of local police these movements still percolate within our consciousness.

Malcolm’s words are just as relevant today as they were in the mid ‘60's mainly because our enemies are just as psychopathic and lethal, some might say even more so than they were then. Regarding US imperialism and oppression which is just as rampant today
in Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and threatens to erupt in Iran, Syria and Lebanon as it was in Southeast Asia in the ‘60's Malcolm said, “The same rebellion, the same impatience, the same anger that exists in the hearts of the dark people in Africa and Asia is existing in the hearts and minds of 20 million black people in this country who have been just as thoroughly colonized as the people in Africa and Asia.”

Malcolm put our struggle in global context and this unnerved the ruling oligarchy. We have to familiarize ourselves with his message today because it; just like Martin Luther King’s latter speeches makes the link between domestic violence and oppression here and the dastardly deeds the US government is doing overseas on behalf of their corporate masters. The system has neither repented nor reformed in the thirty three years since Malcolm’s murder. It has gotten worse.

Speaking of the system, just as Malcolm astutely revealed the weaknesses of the Civil Rights movement versus a genuine human rights struggle, I’m sure if he were alive today he would point out the blatant contradictions of Barack Obama’s candidacy. Malcolm was an uncompromising champion of truth and freedom. He knew the US system was thoroughly corrupt which is why he talked about revolution. In his “The Ballot or The Bullet” speech he outlined the options, true reform or revolution. Given the stranglehold the corporate elites have on the government today, humane reform appears unlikely.

What are our options? Do we have any viable choices? Our options appear to be limited to: continuing the insanity, the delusion of inclusion or going into serious survival mode based upon race first, ethnocentric organization, mobilization and actualization of our innate genius, resources and energies. Once we do this we can begin providing for our own protection, security, food, commerce and necessities. This was the same message of Booker T Washington, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Noble Drew Ali, Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. It is fitting on his natal day we revisit Malcolm’s message and rededicate ourselves to bringing it into fruition.

posted 19 May 2008 

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.


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Weep Not, Child

By Ngugi wa Thiong'o

This is a powerful, moving story that details the effects of the infamous Mau Mau war, the African nationalist revolt against colonial oppression in Kenya, on the lives of ordinary men and women, and on one family in particular. Two brothers, Njoroge and Kamau, stand on a rubbish heap and look into their futures. Njoroge is excited; his family has decided that he will attend school, while Kamau will train to be a carpenter. Together they will serve their countrythe teacher and the craftsman. But this is Kenya and the times are against them. In the forests, the Mau Mau is waging war against the white government, and the two brothers and their family need to decide where their loyalties lie. For the practical Kamau the choice is simple, but for Njoroge the scholar, the dream of progress through learning is a hard one to give up.—Penguin 

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Related file: Honoring Malcolm X