Malcolm X : An Afro American Minister Of The Nation Of Islam

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El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, or better known as Malcolm X, was an Afro-American minister of the Nation of Islam (NOI) and human rights activist whose journey for racial equality and religious freedom infuriated white-America throughout the 60’s. Malcolm’s courage and ability to overcome adversity has been showcased through the Hollywood blockbuster hit-film Malcolm X, as directed and produced by Spike Lee. I plan to investigate Lee’s film and highlight the primary objective in making Malcolm X, while simultaneously capturing the religious elements of this film. Furthermore, I will conduct and analytical comparison of the films companion book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X as authored by Alex Haley, contrasting similarities between the two. Historical conditions such as key events, people, and socioeconomic conditions which framework both the movie’s topic and it’s creation will be brought to light throughout this process. One may argue that religious institutions provide individuals with a sense of identity; it enables them to cope with the many doubts and hardships of social and racial inequalities. We find that individuals establish a connection which is embedded in interpersonal and inter-communal relationships. Throughout the film we see the Nation of Islam provide a source of identity for Malcolm; repositioning his ideologies in line with the mission of the honorable Elijah Muhamad. This interwoven relationship provided more than a new name for Malcolm, it provided a lifestyle, a sense of purpose and direction. Lee recognized the power of truth through Malcolm, the truth black America needed to hear in a time of social and racial crisis. The truth in the eyes of Lee comes from historical data which can not be up for debate. ... ... middle of paper ... this opportunity to inspire social change. All religions have certain notions and beliefs that provide answers to the “ultimate” questions in life. Religion has arguably become a form of psychotherapy, defining the spiritual world and giving meaning to the divine. Throughout the struggles of Malcolm’s life we see Lee expound this relationship to a beyond, providing an explanation for events that seem too difficult to comprehend. Religion offers consolation to the racially oppressed, giving them hope that they can achieve salvation and eternal happiness. Bibliography Haley, Alex, and X, Malcolm. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992. Schmidt, Roger. Exploring Religion. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1980. Wilson, Norman James. History in Crisis?: Recent Directions in Historiography. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.

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