Wednesday, June 10, 2020

History of Malcolm X Essay - 2750 Words

History of Malcolm X (Essay Sample) Content: Name:Institution:Failures of Manning Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s Malcolm X: A Life of ReinventionIntroductionMarable Manningà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention attracts much criticism for its alleged failure to give an accurate account of the life of Malcolm X. In Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s biography of Malcolm X, there are a number of discourses by the biographer that depict Malcolm X in a fashion that many Americans and readers interested in this history would find repelling and disapproving. From the vast number of critics that have contributed to discrediting the work of Marable, Jared A. Ball and Todd Steven Burroughs perhaps offer the most likeable and formidable argument against the claims made by the biographer. The two authors, in their book A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s Malcolm X, respond to the claims by Marable in what is a critical work against those of the biographer, who is seemingly biased and conceited about his opinions about Malcol m X.An accurate account of Malcolm X is probably found in his autobiography assisted by Alex Haley. Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, with the assistance of Alex Haley is a respected autobiography that offers credible accounts of the life of iconic Malcolm X and is certainly a reference material that biographers such as Marable Manning are reported to have used to make their own works on the icon. Marable borrows from the autobiography and makes his assertions from the events within the autobiography as will be later explained in this paper. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention is probably a piece of work that requires some acclaim for its role in stirring the thought through retelling Malcolmà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s widely known conversion from a wayward youth to a criminal to a religious figure, illustrating the range of influences that inspired these transformations. The book however fails in a number of ways to achieve what its author might have had in mind, giving a new and controvers ial outlook into the life of Malcolm X.Literature ReviewIt was tragic that Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s demise came merely days before the release of his biography on Malcolm X, yet with the insurmountable criticism that followed his book, it might have spared him the trouble of supporting his hotly debated claims into the life and deeds of the icon. In Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, Marable thinks of Malcolm X as an individual involved in a constant battle of contradictions. The Nation of Islam (NOI) is particularly the point that sells in Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s argument, drawing up Malcolm as a leader (minister), who detested leaders of civil rights movements influenced by Christianity (Ball Todd 17). According to Marable, these civil rights movement groups were middle-class sellouts to the white majority while the NOI played a more separationist role in the fight for civil rights. Discouraging black voting in America and civil rights movements in favor of a separationist state, the NOI w as matter-of-factly conservative with utopian ideologies. In subsequent years of Malcolmà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s position as a minister in the NOI, his expulsion from the group came partially because of his increasing tendencies towards a militarized form of activism. His support for Pan Africanism was among the other factors that contributed to his assassination as claimed by Marable, his trip to Africa making "his murder all the more necessary from an institutional standpoint" (Marable 89).The Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention however builds up some friction with the assertions of Marable concerning Malcolmà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s sexual orientation. It is intriguing to find out that the author strongly believes that Malcolm X had homosexual tendencies, providing weak and shaky arguments towards the support of this claim. Through the book, other questionable claims arise but with little or biased basis for support. The sheer outrage caused by Marable in his biography is enough to warrant a critique on the sources and constructs used to found his claims about Malcolm X, yet to a large extent, the work is already highly disputed as would be by A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s Malcolm X. This counteractive piece by Jared A. Ball and Todd Steven Burroughs breaks down the averments of the biography by Marable providing numerous problems that can be identified in the book. In the list of problems included in the counter-title to Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s A Life of Reinvention, there are questions of sourcing, excessive use of innuendo, severe omissions, unsupported speculations, misdirected conclusions, and the lack of vital primary sources. The flaws of the book are therefore corrected in the counter-title response of the same.Malcolm X, the Autobiography of Malcolm X. With the assistance of Alex Haley is on the other hand a more accurate account of the life of Malcolm X, with actual events and feelings of the icon himself. This provides a basis for which the work o f Marable can be gauged, determining whether it accurately makes judgment of Malcolm and whether the assertion of the author can be supported by the autobiography itself.Problems with Manning Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s Malcolm X: A Life of ReinventionMarable and PoliticsIt is probably easy to discredit Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s book as one with less truth because of the considerable amount of mistakes and lack of concrete evidence by the author in accounting for the life of Malcolm X. The first failure of the book would be its inclination towards a more politicized outlook in profiling Malcolm. Marable himself being an individual spending considerable years in politics from his role in the National Political Assembly of the 1970s, this past may have had some influences on the outcome of his book. In a walk through the covers of the book, it is particularly prominent that the book tries to rain down on the admirable qualities of Malcolm X already known to the world and introducing alleged truths about the icon that would easily tarnish the admiration that he already enjoys in death. Marable may be guilty of politics, trying to reduce the qualities of Malcolm with largely unsubstantiated interjections à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ interestingly some of which are referred to as rumors by Marable himself. The gaping errors in Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s arguments are highly politicized such that some claims by him are utterly outrageous and intolerable. One example of this carelessness is the claim that Malcolm and his wife Betty had problems with their sexual lives and were therefore mutually infidels.The greatest weakness of Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s arguments, and thus his book is his failure to ascertain his sources and the uncertainty of some of his claims. A typical example would be one of his sentences that read, "That evening Sharon X may have joined him in his hotel" (Marable 423). It is professionally incompetent as an author that such an uncertainty is expected to assert any authority to the reade r. Ball and Burroughs recognize this weakness in Marable and therefore capitalize on the loop holes in the Marable account. It could be judged that the biographerà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s claims on Malcolm were partly based on assumptions because of the ambiguity in language used to lay claim to these points.Malcolm X, a Homosexual?It is quite speculative to claim that Malcolm X was homosexual. However, if sufficient reason should be given to support this claim, Marableà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s argument makes little effort to support this allegation. It could be argued that if definitive information on this matter could be produced, then an attempt to bring forth this point should not have been made by the author. The work of Marable is a biography, which is an attempt at a reconstruction of an individualà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s life. Biographies are partly art and partly science. In instances where sufficient evidence does not exist to support a claim that one would wish to make, history provides for the weighing of ev idence through context of an event and the chance that personal interpretations may reach accurate conclusions. Marable certainly had to employ such techniques to reach his conclusions in his biography of Malcolm X. It is however worrying that this might have not applied to the case of his claim that found Malcolm X to be a possible homosexual.In the autobiography, Malcolm X is certainly in contact with people in events that are outright homosexual in nature. Rudy is particularly the character that brings about themes homosexuality in the life of Malcolm. Rudy is clearly depicted as being homosexual from the account in the autobiography, "He paid Rudy to undress them both, then pick up the old man like a baby, lay him on his bed, then stand over him and sprinkle him all over with talcum powder, Rudy said the old man would actually reach his climax from that" (Marable 65-66). These are likely circumstantial rather than concrete evidence to support the homosexuality of Malcolm. They a re also perhaps Malcolmà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s expression of his homosexual encounters with Paul Lennon, but do not necessarily prove his homosexual orientation as explained in the same book. However, recognizing that the autobiography written by Malcolm X himself with the assistance of Alex Haley, Marable fails to recognize the right of the subject of his biography to accurate portrayal (X Haley 34). In his book, Marable acknowledges that though there is no evidence to pin homosexuality on Malcolm, rumors had it that during his years as an unruly individual in the streets, Malcolm was involved in homosexuality.Emphasized in the book is Malcolmà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s involvement with a rich white man during his early years hustling in the streets. A source cited by Marable for this claim is a reputed family member of Malcolmà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬s, who made the allegation shaky. This could also perhaps have been an oversight of Marable on the case of Rudy, who...