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Films >> Malcolm X (1992) >>

Education: The Significance in Bringing Malcolm Back from the Dead
By jaycee culhane, with comments by Calinda Roberts, Harrison Lawrence, and Lauren Calabrese

Malcolm Xs life revolved around his desire for the voices of himself and his people to be heard. He struggled against those who worked to keep him silent. In the end, those forces succeeded to a certain degree, but not before Malcolm left us with enough of his words to keep people talking for centuries. In fact, in his autobiography, Malcolm left us a permanent loudspeaker, eternally shouting out against injustice and oppression. Spike Lee's film Malcolm X is another timeless work that strives to keep Malcolm alive and speaking despite all the efforts to silence and marginalize his memory.
Polarized Female Images: How the Identity of Malcolm X is Limited by Static Female Portrayals
By Lauren Calabrese, with comment by Katherine Prosswimmer

In Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, the female characters function as fixed figures positioned to illuminate the evolution of Malcolm X’s black masculinity. According to Maurice E. Stevens, Lee “fuses notions of blackness with his picture of manhood by constructing an idealized femininity that functions most significantly as a prop for masculinity” (294). Moreover, Lee presents women as static polar images, either prostitute or virgin, in order to project an authentic manifestation of Malcolm X’s black personhood. In particular, Sophia, Malcolm’s white seductress and Betty Shabazz, Malcolm’s black wife, are fixtures assembled to fulfill stereotypical roles of white temptress and black domesticity. However, Lee’s...