Malcolm XMalcolm X
The Movie
The Man:

Spike Lee's version of Malcolm X's life is similar to the historical Malcolm X. By watching the movie and knowing who he was and his beliefs, one can easily tell how alike they are.

The Movie

When the movie starts Malcolm Little is getting his hair cut. The appearance is that he wants to look more like a white person. Malcolm X's father is a preacher, but the KKK came to the house to burn it down. Later, Malcolm's father is killed by being tied to the rail road tracks when a train comes. His father died when Malcolm was just a child.. After Malcolm's dad died A white woman came to tell Malcolm that they were going to take her kids away because she was an "unsuitable mother". They then sent Malcolm to a detention home which drove his mother insane.

While at a club Malcolm met a white girl by the name of Sophia. They later moved in together.

When Malcolm was in his early 20's he met a man which got him into the "gangster" life-style. He then began doing drugs. To feel like he was in with everyone else, Malcolm got new clothes and a a gun. The gang, and Malcolm got into a lot of gambling. Malcolm messed up and almost got himself killed by the gang. Malcolm had to leave town with Sophia and Shorty, because the gang was still after them. Malcolm and Shorty later robbed a man's house and got caught.

Shorty and Malcolm are sent to jail for 10 years at Charlestown State Prison for sleeping with a white women and for robbery. In prison, Malcolm got beaten for not knowing his prison number. He met a man named Banes. Banes talked to Malcolm about God. Banes was trying to get Malcolm out of prison. Malcolm finally reads and realizes what he has to do to get out of prison. Malcolm reads the Bible, other books, and he wrote letters to fellow Muslims. Banes teaches Malcolm about Islam religion and Elijah Muhammed. Finally after ten long years Malcolm finally gets out of prison.

When Malcolm got out of prison he decided he would go out on the streets and make speeches about the Nation of Islam. After Malcolm became a Muslim, he went to see Archie. The old gang that Malcolm was in is getting in lots of trouble.

While involved with the Muslim Nation, Malcolm meets sister Betty. Malcolm falls in love marries Betty and has three children. Brother Banes, a good friend of Malcolm's, gets beaten by police and then the police take him to the prison. Malcolm is told about this, so he and fellow Muslims go to the police station to make sure Banes is alright. Banes was very badly beaten so Malcolm and the fellow Muslims take Banes to the hospital. On the way to the Hospital a large crowd forms following Malcolm. They waited outside the hospital to make sure that Banes got proper medical treatment. Malcolm signals the crowd to leave and everyone marches away. It shows how powerful Malcolm is at this time.

Other Muslims thought Malcolm was getting to powerful. One example of the conflicts Malcolm's power caused involved the leader of the Muslim Nation, Elijah Muhammed. Elijah Muhammed was said to have fathered two young women's children. Malcolm went to talk to the women. The women told Malcolm that Elijah always talked behind Malcolm's back, saying bad things. Malcolm's faith was shattered. He was with the Black Muslim religion for twelve years. He decided to try to take, and make his own Islam religion. Muhammed found out about this, and said that Malcolm could not preach for 90 days.

Malcolm's family was getting a lot of prank phone calls. One of the old gang members was suppose to wire Malcolm's phone so it would blow up.

Later in his life he went to Mecca and became a pilgrim, while he was in Mecca he drank from the same cup and plate as white men. Malcolm went back to America all of Malcolm's friends are of all colors. Later Malcolm's house was burned down. After that he decided that he wanted to preach again.

Malcolm was one of the most opinionated people of this century. Malcolm's dad was a Baptist preacher he was also a supporter of Marcus Garvey's United Negro Improvement Association. At an young age Malcolm lost both his parents.

Just put up to the eighth grade of school, Malcolm went up to New York where he became a waiter at Smalls Paradise in Harlem. He was then forced to live in the ghetto. Malcolm then began selling and using drugs. Malcolm would burglarize other people's houses and belongings. He was caught and sent to jail for ten years in 1946. Malcolm's cell- mate was a man by the name of Banes. This man was a big influence on Malcolm because of his racist point of view.

Malcolm was paroled from prison in 1952. He then became outspoken in which he said "Evil was an inherent characteristic of the white man's Christian world."

Malcolm then began branding white people as "evil." His true life philosophy which was one of his favorite quotes, "an eye for an eye." In 1963, Malcolm thought of Kennedy's assassination as "chickens coming home to roost."

Malcolm was suspended from the Black Muslim Movement by Elijah Muhammed. Malcolm then formed his own group which was called The Organization of Afro-American Unity. On the 21, of February in 1965 Malcolm was murdered. When he was buried he went by the name of Al Hajj Al-Shabazz, the name that he took in 1964 after his pilgrimage to Mecca. Malcolm has much influence on blacks and whites. Malcolm was a man of the people, in his ways of teaching on the street instead of going to college to become a preacher.

The movie Malcolm X was very well portrayed by Spike Lee. It is historically accurate in the life of Malcolm X. It showed many of the struggles that he faced in making black history. The movie Malcolm X showed all the emotion of the original events, and it made the audience feel like they were reliving history. Some may not agree with Malcolm's point of view. However, the movie is accurate, as well as thrilling, and it pulls the audience into it. There is superb emotion and feeling. In all, the movie Malcolm X is a historically accurate movie of the true life of Malcolm Little.

For more information on Malcolm X, please visit Three Speeches By Malcolm X, a page that contains other links to resources of this intruiging historical figure.

Sources: Malcolm X Afro-American

Malcolm X Review Commentary, pp. 27-39 F '93 M. Haskel 1995

Malcolm X pp. 469.May 1993

Marian Faye Novak. American Heritage, pp. 363-Meeting Mr. X. February-March 1994

Spike Lee. Malcolm X. "The Movie '93" Ebony pp. 126-130 December 1993

Authors: Jessica C., Emily P., Amber W., and Megan K.

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