Posts Tagged ‘Malcolm_X’

Visiting the Audubon Ballroom’s Malcolm X Memorial

21 September 2013
Malcolm X, Maeve and me. Life size statue of Malcolm X at the Shabazz Center at the Audubon Ballroom - the site where Malcolm X was assassinated.

Malcolm X, Maeve and me. Life size statue of Malcolm X at the Shabazz Center at the Audubon Ballroom – the site where Malcolm X was assassinated.

Yesterday, Carrie and I took Maeve across (actually under) the Hudson River for the first time. We visited New York City, specifically the Audubon Ballroom and attended the Bronx River Alliance’s annual Upstream Soiree event – at the Bronx Zoo. The Audubon Ballroom is the site where Malcolm X was shot and killed on February 21st 1965. It’s now the site of the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.

This post will be sort of travelog – telling the dadblog experience of travelling in the city, and a few thoughts on Malcolm X, whom I am big fan of. I chose (about 20 years ago) the style of my glasses based on Malcolm’s. Read my earlier blog post about Malcolm X here.

Getting going - Carrie, Maeve and stroller - ready for our first trip into the big city.

Getting going – Carrie, Maeve and stroller – ready for our first trip into the big city.

The day began at our place in Jersey City. (more…)

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Thoughts on Finishing Manning Marable’s Malcolm X

4 June 2013
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable, published by Viking

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable, published by Viking

On my train commute home tonight I finished Manning Marable‘s sizable (500 pages) recent (2011) biography of Malcolm X. The book’s title is Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. I definitely learned a lot about Malcolm X – who has been a hero of mine for quite a while.

I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, a few other Malcolm X books, saw the Spike Lee movie, and heard talks by and about Malcolm on KPFK radio and elsewhere. Back in the 1990s for about a half-dozen years I would host an annual party on Malcolm X’s birthday – May 19th (1925.) The glasses I wear I think of as Malcolm X glasses – though my father and many other folks wore similar retro-style frames. I’d hear Manning Marable speak on Democracy Now, so I was looking forward to reading the book… but it’s big, so it took me a bit of time to get into it and to finish it.

Marable’s book is very good. It humanizes Malcolm a bit. While it portrays him squarely as hero, Manning doesn’t idealize him as much as I think I had. He didn’t get along with his wife. He exaggerated some things about his criminal past – to make himself sound more badass than he was. Marable draws a useful distinction between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Where King’s movement work came out of a relatively well-off college-educated black middle class, Malcolm X’s movement work came out of a very street-level urban poor black working class.  (more…)