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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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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