Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Resonances of Malcolm

I've had a couple of instances in the last few days that have reminded me how much the ideas and words of Malcolm X have shaped my view of the world.

The first was the news surrounding the untimely death of Columbia University professor Manning Marable. (See here for an excerpt.) Dr. Marable succumbed to complication of pneumonia on April 1st, two days before the publishing of his biography of Malcolm called Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. I actually have a friend that has been taking Dr. Marable's class this semester. From the stories I've heard from her, he was quite an individual and extremely dedicated to communicating his truth and experience of Malcolm's work.

The other was this eight minute recording of Malcolm being interrogated by agents of the FBI.

I think the most impressive thing about this recording is Malcolm's complete confidence of thought in defiance of the most intimidating and infamous branch of the United States Government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation scares everyone; I'm certain that's by design. Like Germany's Gestapo and Russia's KGB, the FBI carries a history and aura of unwarranted clandestineness and questionably legal and political morality. So for Malcolm X to sit in a room with two of their agents and respond as coolly and masterfully as he does in this recording is nothing short of brilliance.

I really wish I could have seen him in person. Perhaps I was born in the wrong era.


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