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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Malcolm X’s Legacy: Redemption Or Revenge?

A new biography has spurred the long-running debate over Malcolm X’s life and legacy. Ta-Nehisi Coates explains how widely the public image of Malcolm X varied: Some saw him as a hate-filled bigot who came to see the kinship of all mankind through religion. Others saw him as a self-redeemer, a former player who became an exemplar of black chivalry. And there were some who thought him an avatar of collective revenge, a gangster who changed his targets but not his ways.

We speak with Coates, who offers a personal take on Malcolm X, tracing the man’s place in his life by where he keeps his giant poster of Malcolm X. Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor for The Atlantic magazine, and author of the memoir, “The Beautiful Struggle.

 


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  • Brittneypaschal

     Wonderful insight and comparison to Obama… would love to hear more! 

  • Anjraja

     I’m currently listening to this very interesting interview. It was said that Malcolm X’s father was killed by white supremacists. However, at least according to wikipedia, Malcolm X’s father, Earl Little, died from being struck by a car in Lansing, MI. He apparently said that it was an accident before he died. Although his 3 brothers had been killed by white men when the family lived in Nebraska, it seems that this may not be entirely as claimed on the show. Does anyone know more about this fact?

    • Anonymous

      There’s controversy about it. It was ‘officially’ an accident but he was often targeted in the different cities the family lived in by white supremacists so there are suspicions the accident was staged and was actually murder.

  • disappointed in chicago

     I thought it was telling of a certain establishment perspective when the interviewer describing Malcolm X’s self-reinvention said, “…indignant racist to insurgent humanist and yet many Americans didn’t get to see that evolution because he didn’t live long enough for the press to catch up with that story.”  The American press has had over 40 years to catch up with that story, I somehow doubt that hasty coverage has been much of an issue.

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