Marable opens the world to the Nation of Islam and the insider view of a religious sect and Malcolm X's struggle to move beyond it. Sections of the book, especially the last days of Malcolm X's life, are very engaging.
Unfortunately, the book is filled with innuendo and gossip that, in most cases, aren't back up with fact. I was left wondering why so many were attracted to him and his message.
In addition, his effort to contrast him with MLK and Obama and a black class struggle (black bourgeois vs. a poor and working class) with little supporting historical data is particularly problematic.
He dances around Malcolm X's loyalty to Elijah Muhammad (even to point of "expelling" his siblings from his life) and doesn't really explore the realities of the hold of similar cult-like organizations to its members.
Marable's focus on insider tips and commentary don't lead to an understanding of the relationships and unique attributes that enabled Malcolm X to be such a huge influence on the black nationalist movement, and black identity. In fact, you're left wondering how X could have been a key figure in the black struggle.
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