Malcolm X and the Black Rage

by Miriam Balducci, June 2014

900 words

3 pages


Each epoch has its hero who embodies the values, dreams and hopes for change. In a turning point of their history, Malcolm X was such a hero for African Americans. His outstanding role in the transformation of society lies in the fact that he did not only try to make black people accepted but also to inspire them for creating a totally new world, in which they will be free from the negative heritage of the past. In his essay “Malcolm X and Black Rage” Cornel West explores Malcolm X’ personality and influence, naming love for his nation the main motivation of his, and debunks negative myths of the black nationalism and radicalism in the activist’s action.Speaking about Malcolm X, it is impossible to avoid discussing his personality, which obviously contributed to his overall success. Many of his qualities and approaches for which he was accused not only by his opponents but by more liberal supporters of the black movement, were really helpful to attract people. He was one of many, and the audience realized that he is the same, but more courageous, more confident and more honest – qualities that African Americans had lost during the time of slavery and discrimination. Indeed, some of his words and his actions were harsh and not easily accepted, yet they were timely because each epoch gives birth to the kind of a leader that can meet its needs. So, as Cornel West states, Malcolm X was first of all the one to open eyes to the rest about who they are: "Malcolm X was the first real black spokesperson who looked ferocious white racism in the eye, didn'y blink, and lives long enough to tell America the truth about this glaring hypocrisy in a bold and defiant manner." (West 151)The researcher considers the concept of Black Rage distinguishing the truth from the myths, which have emerged because of the wrong bias about Malcolm X and his supporters. He believes that the only true interpretation of Black Rage is treating it as ultimate love and sacrifice for the sake of the nation, which was humiliated. Because African Americans were enslaved, first of all mentally if not physically any longer, they could not change their life abruptly because of their inferiority thinking and fears. It was Malcolm X idea that they needed to restore self-esteem in the first place in order to fight for their rights. He believed that racism was a curse both for the black and the white people, so he wrote: “as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the wall and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth — the only way left to America to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to” ( Malcolm X).Some accuse the leader of nationalism or even black …

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