el-hajj malik el-shabazz

el-hajj malik el-shabazz

Christopher Hitchens: What Was Malcolm X's Message? On the Film and Spike Lee (1993)

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Malcolm X (/ˈmælkəm ˈɛks/; May 19, 1925 -- February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Arabic: الحاجّ مالك الشباز‎), was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history. When Malcolm X was six his father died, and the family was deeply disturbed by rumors that white racists had been responsible. After his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was 13, he lived in a series of foster homes. In 1946, at age 20, he went to prison for larceny and breaking and entering. While in prison he became a member of the Nation of Islam, and after his parole in 1952 quickly rose to become one of its leaders. For a dozen years he was the public face of the controversial group; in keeping with the Nation's teachings he espoused black supremacy, advocated the separation of black and white Americans and scoffed at the civil rights movement's emphasis on integration. By March 1964 Malcolm X had grown disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and its head Elijah Muhammad, and ultimately repudiated the Nation and its teachings. He embraced Sunni Islam and, after a period of travel in Africa and the Middle East, returned to the United States to found Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Though continuing to emphasize Pan-Africanism, black self-determination, and black self-defense, he disavowed racism, saying, "I did many things as a [Black] Muslim that I'm sorry for now. I was a zombie then ... pointed in a certain direction and told to march". In February 1965, shortly after repudiating the Nation of Islam, he was assassinated by three of its members. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_X Malcolm X is a 1992 American biographical motion picture about the African-American figure Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee, the film stars Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman, Jr., and Delroy Lindo. Lee has a small supporting role as Shorty, a character based partially on real-life acquaintance Malcolm "Shorty" Jarvis, a fellow criminal and jazz trumpeter. Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and future South Africa president Nelson Mandela have cameo appearances. The film dramatizes key events in Malcolm X's life: his criminal career, his incarceration, his conversion to Islam, his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam and his later falling out with the organization, his marriage to Betty X, his pilgrimage to Mecca and reevaluation of his views concerning whites, and his assassination on February 21, 1965. Defining childhood incidents, including his father's death, his mother's mental illness, and his experiences with racism are dramatized in flashbacks. Malcolm X's screenplay, co-credited to Lee and Arnold Perl, is based largely on Alex Haley's 1965 book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Haley collaborated with Malcolm X on the book beginning in 1963 and completed it after Malcolm X's death. Malcolm X was distributed by Warner Bros. and released on November 18, 1992. Denzel Washington won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_X_(film)