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Review of Cornel West's Malcolm X and Black Rage for a college-age audience - Essay Example

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The current focus on Malcolm X, especially among the youths can be understood as a desperate urge to channel his ideologies into something important and an open articulation of black rage that can be evident in tapes and videos targeting the Jews, the whites, black women and…
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Review of Cornel Wests Malcolm X and Black Rage for a college-age audience
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Review of Cornel west’s “Malcolm X and black rage” for a college-age audience The current focus on Malcolm X, especially among the youths can be understood as a desperate urge to channel his ideologies into something important and an open articulation of black rage that can be evident in tapes and videos targeting the Jews, the whites, black women and Koreans. The modern black generation is against the forces of destructions, death, and diseases that are experienced in our society each day. The raw reality of guns, drugs, decrepitude and despair has generated a raw rage that only the speech of Malcolm X can approximate. It is therefore of essence for the modern youths to utilize Malcolm Ideologies in dealing with issues that affect the current society. The issues of cultural hybridity, psychic conversation, authoritarian organizations, black supremacy, boundaries and borders in sexuality and other issues looms large in the present society. West states that, ‘ In order to build the best out of Malcolm X’ s ideologies, we must expand and preserve the notion of psychic conversion that cement the groups and networks in which black community, care, love, humanity and concerns grows and take root (West, 170). West has employed pathos, ethos and logos to make his message persuasive to the readers.
Cornel west tries to clarify how Malcolm’s Black rage was not only directed to the white population but also to the black Americans, minds. He explains that Malcolm’s psychic conversation will promote blacks to appreciate and love their self worth and culture. Malcolm X was a revolutionary figure and anti-thesis of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi who utilized non-violent ideologies to achieve the same goals as his predecessors. He wanted to put an end to the oppression that targeted the black people. West describes Malcolm X as an ideological leader for the black radicalism including Black Nationalism (collective actions and institutional building), black religion (morality and spirituality), socialism (justice/ freedom and anti-imperialism) as well as panafricanism (internationalism and identity) (West, 172).
Malcolm X’s deep pessimism targeted the possibility and the capability of the white Americans to shade their racism led him to downplay the present and past bonds between the whites and the black people. West explains that Malcolm ideologies focused on freedoms of the black population even though he was aware that the majority of the population was racist. Malcolm X questioned the American democracy stating that it had made the black people non citizen. Ideally, constitutional democracy has to avoid the tyranny of the majority while at the same time safeguarding the rights of the minority which was never the case during those periods. West states that, “The constitutional democracy of the day did less to safeguard the rights of the blacks while at the same time promoted a tyranny of the white majority. The issue forced Malcolm to focus on other institutions such as organization of African unity as well as united nation to help fight racism (Perry, 25).
Malcolm X was the 1st black person who lived long to tell Americans about the truth pertaining to racism in a defiant and bold manner. Unlike Martin Luther Jr and Elijah Muhammad he did not live long to forge his own ways ad ideas of channeling black rage in constructive channels aimed at changing the American societies. Only if we are willing to grow and confront the new challenges that are posed by the black rage of our day, as Malcolm X did those days, will we take the black freedom struggles to a higher level. The societies’ future may depend on it (West, 172).
Work cited
Perry, Theresa, ed. Teaching malcolm X. Psychology Press, 1996.
West, Cornel. "Malcolm X and Black Rage 11." Teaching malcolm X (1996). Read More
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