The Musiz of Malcolm X

11 Dec

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Moorbey'z Blog

Malcolm X, 1965.
Malcolm X, 1965.
CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES / GETTY
One of the more interesting volumes in Malcolm X’s book collection, held at the Schomburg Center, in Harlem, is an English translation of Jean Paul Sartre’s “Black Orpheus,” the French philosopher’s dense meditation on the idea of Negritude. Malcolm X’s copy is meticulously marked up, with typos circled and sentences underlined. A Paris Metro ticket stub is tucked in between the pages as a bookmark.

by HISHAM AIDI

The civil-rights leader had a curious relationship to France; he was drawn to its culture, but disgusted by its colonial practices. His Grenadian-born mother was proficient in French and taught her children the language. More than one French scholar has suggested that Malcolm X’s political motto, “By any means necessary,” was borrowed from Sartre’s play “Dirty Hands.” And, to the distress of American intelligence agencies, the French were captivated by Malcolm…

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