Sunday, February 18, 2024

an uncompromising man..............

 What made him truly original was that he presented himself as the embodiment of the two central figures of African-American folk culture, simultaneously the hustler/trickster and the preacher/minister.  Janus-faced, the trickster is unpredictable, capable of outrageous transgressions; the minister saves souls, redeems shattered lives, and promises a new world.  Malcolm was a committed student of black folk culture, and to make a political point he would constantly mix animal stories, rural metaphors, and trickster tales—for example, refashioning the fox vs. the wolf as Johnson vs. Goldwater.  His speeches mesmerized audiences because he could orchestrate his themes into a narrative that promised ultimate salvation.  He presented himself as an uncompromising man wholly dedicated to the empowerment of black people, without regard to his own personal safety.  Even those who rejected his politics recognized his sincerity.

-Manning Marable,  Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

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