Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Race, Identity, & Social Order The Autobiography of Malcolm X “Never cross a man not afraid to die.”

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Race, Identity, & Social Order The Autobiography of Malcolm X “Never cross a man not afraid to die.”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Race, Identity, & Social Order The Autobiography of Malcolm X “Never cross a man not afraid to die.”

2 Dehumanization “In the ghettoes the white man has built for us, he has forced us not to aspire to greater things, but to view everyday living as survival—and in that kind of community, survival is what is respected.” (105) – A life of oppression and brutality leaves the individual brutalized – In the absence of even the possibility of better things, Malcolm X at this point in his life embraces a form of nihilism. He sees his life of self-loathing, drugs, sex, and crime as self-degradation. – This is due in part to a lack of self-knowledge and self- respect 2

3 The color line “We laughed about the scared little Chinese whose restaurant didn’t have a hand laid on it, because the rioters just about convulsed laughing when they saw the sign the Chinese had hastily stuck on his door: ‘Me Colored Too.’” (131) “Hymie really liked me, and I liked him. He loved to talk. Half his talk was about Jews and Negroes. Jews who had anglicized their names were Hymie’s favorite hate. Spitting and curling his mouth in scorn, he would reel off names of people he said had done this.” (143) The race card: “Who in the world’s history has ever played a worse ‘skin game’ than the white man?” (206) 3

4 Being toward death “I believed that a man should do anything that he was slick enough, or bad and bold enough, to do and that a woman was nothing but another commodity.” (155) “Deep down, I actually believed that after living as fully as humanly possible, one should then die violently.” (159) “I lived and thought like a predatory animal.” (155) What does it mean to live and think like a man? 4

5 Devils “The white man is the devil.” My mind “flashed across the entire spectrum of white people I had ever known; and for some reason it stopped upon Hymie, the Jew, who had been so good to me….” – Is Hymie white? I said, “Without any exception?” “Without any exception.” 5

6 Devils Black Legion Welfare officials Judges Teachers Police Johns Customers Sophia Etc. 6

7 “Here is a black man caged behind bars, probably for years, put there by the white man. Usually the convict comes from among those bottom-of-the-pile Negroes, the Negroes who throughout their entire lives have been kicked about, treated like children—Negroes who have never met one white man who didn’t either try to take something from them or do something to them.” (211) 7

8 Discovery of Self “You don’t even know who you are,” Reginald had said. “You don’t even know, the white devil has hidden it from you, that you are from a race of people of ancient civilizations, and riches in gold and kings.” (186) – History & education Slavery Opium war – “History had been ‘whitened’” (187) – “This ‘Negro’ had been taught to worship an alien God having the same blond hair, pale skin, and blue eyes as the slavemaster.” (188) 8

9 William F. Buckley “Why the South Must Prevail” (1957) In "the South, where the conflict is by no means dramatic, as in Kenya, nevertheless perceives important qualitative differences between its culture and the Negroes', and intends to assert its own. – National Review believes that the South's premises are correct. If the majority wills what is socially atavistic, then to thwart the majority may be, though undemocratic, enlightened. It is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority. Sometimes it becomes impossible to assert the will of a minority, in which case it must give way, and the society will regress; sometimes the numerical minority cannot prevail except by violence: then it must determine whether the prevalence of its will is worth the terrible price of violence.” 9

10 George Wallace Wallace after losing 1958 Alabama gubernatorial race: – "I was out-niggered by John Patterson. And I'll tell you here and now, I will never be out-niggered again.” 1963 Inaugural address – In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny... and I say... segregation today... segregation tomorrow... segregation forever.” “We invite the negro citizens of Alabama to work with us from his separate racial station.. as we will work with him.. to develop, to grow in individual freedom and enrichment.... – But we warn those, of any group, who would follow the false doctrine of communistic amalgamation that we will not surrender our system of government... our freedom of race and religion... that freedom was won at a hard price and if it requires a hard price to retain it.. we are able.. and quite willing to pay it.” 10

11 This History of Yacub ‘Muslim’ used to refer both to members of the Nation of Islam and followers of orthodox Islam “The humans resulting, he knew, would be, as they became lighter, and weaker, progressively also more susceptible to wickedness and evil.” – Affirmation of blackness – Devaluation of whiteness – Plausibility a result of the system of white supremacy 11

12 Conversion “If you will take one step toward Allah—Allah will take two steps toward you.” (181) “I was going through the hardest thing, also the greatest thing, for any human being to do; to accept that which is already within you, and around you.” (189) “The very enormity of my previous life’s guilt prepared me to accept the truth.” (189) 12

13 Ordering “I had never dreamed of anything like that atmosphere among black people who had learned to be proud they were black, who had learned to love other black people instead of being jealous and suspicious” Prayer, ablution, family order “Even the children spoke to other children” with “mutual respect and dignity…. Beautiful!” (224) – Order, cleanliness, & respect – The problem is not with us... 13

14 A New Self For me, my “X” replaced the white slavemaster name of “Little” which some blue eyed devil named Little had imposed upon my paternal forebears.” (229) – Break with the past – Rejection of whiteness “Think of hearing wives, mothers, daughters being raped! And you were too filled with fear of the rapist to do anything about it?” (232) – Fear, power, & violence 14

15 “If Malcolm X were not a Negro” “If Malcolm X were not a Negro, his autobiography would be little more than a journal of abnormal psychology, the story of a burglar, dope pusher, addict, and jailbird—with a family history of insanity—who acquires messianic delusions and sets forth to preach an upside-down religion of ‘brotherly’ hatred.” Saturday Evening Post, Sept. 12, 1965 – “For the white man to ask the black man if he hates him, is just like the rapist asking the raped, or the wolf asking the sheep, ‘Do you hate me?’ The white man is in no moral position to accuse anyone else of hate!” (277) 15

16 “The Jew will never forget that lesson [of the Holocaust]… they used violence to force the British to help them take Palestine, “and then the Jews set up Israel, their own country—the one thing that every race of man in the world respects, and understands.” (320) – Why is this something universally understood? 16

17 “I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. – Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don't even call it violence when it's self- defense, I call it intelligence.” 17

Download ppt "Race, Identity, & Social Order The Autobiography of Malcolm X “Never cross a man not afraid to die.”"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google