Malcolm X

Before watching this movie, I definitely didn’t know as much about Malcolm X as I probably should have, but (as some people have already mentioned) he is a relatively glossed over figure when discussing the Civil Rights Movement. So much of the attention is focused on MLK that Malcolm X fades into the shadows a little bit, which is why I loved that a movie was made about him.

I really liked how the movie walked us through a detailed account of each time period in Malcolm’s life, to the point where you felt like you were living life with him. You could physically see him work to find himself, and the shifts that took place to get him to where he ended up. I also like how the film added childhood memories throughout the story to add to his personality and give insight into his thoughts and motivations behind his actions. I thought one of the more powerful scenes in the movie was when people threw the molotov cocktails into the windows of his house, and how it cuts between his experience as an adult versus as a child when the same thing happened. It reminds the viewers that this is (unfortunately) a horrible pattern of behavior during that time, and shows the feelings that must have been brought back up after living through something as traumatic as that more than once.

Overall, I’m really glad that this movie was assigned for this class. Malcolm X deserves recognition and credit for his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement (the good and the bad, which I also appreciated that the movie didn’t gloss over the bad things like they do in some biographies). I think (and hope) that this movie will shed new light on Malcolm X, and will give those powerful and influential individuals the voice they deserve.

5 comments

  1. I totally agree with your first statement. Admittedly, I am a bit embarrassed to say I had virtually no understanding of his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. I am really glad this film was assigned so that I could learn more.

  2. I definitely agree that I also didn’t know much about Malcolm X prior to this movie, which is a shame and tells us something about our current educational system and what some educators choose to leave out about historical movements based on people’s pasts. Seeing glimpses of Malcom X’s past helps audiences see the perpetuation of discrimination faced by blacks and helps us better understand him as an activist.

  3. I agree, as many of our classmates have stated, I did not know much about Malcom X prior to this movie. One of the big things that stuck out to me was that he spent a lot of his life in Boston which is where I am from. All throughout elementary to high school we learned about all of the heroes of Boston and the history here but not once was Malcom X mentioned which I think is a shame and a problem with education as he is glossed over in history.

  4. I also appreciated how we learned about Malcolm’s entire life rather than just his role in the Civil Rights movement. His journey is so much more complicated than any one contribution he made. Yes, the movie was long, but it had to be in order to tell the entire story.

  5. I think you’re right! It is a different perspective overall, but it is important to recognize that there were some bad things done by Civil Rights LEaders that they thought were right. There is also the understanding that Malcolm X would eventually change his beliefs, but his changing beliefs show character, and how the Civil Rights Movement affected him as much as he affected it.

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