Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable was a book that I stumbled upon while looking for an available audiobook on my library app.

I have seen several documentaries on Malcolm X and of course, the Spike Lee film. What I found interesting in this book was the unbiased look at Malcolm X. It seems all you get normally, is either a hit piece or something that elevates the man beyond his real story. Marable does a good job of showing all sides of the man.

I was surprised by revelations like the fact that X’s one-time benefactor was a wealthy homosexual white man. This, when he was developing his shtick as the hater of the blue-eyed devils and supporter of the anti-gay culture of the Nation of Islam. Also in juxtaposition with some public speeches was his meeting with the heads of the Klu Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. Yes, the believer in strict separation of the races, X once entered into secret negotiations with the KKK and Nazis as a means to work together to that end.

The various incarnations of the man were fascinating and certainly worth the read by themselves. More interesting to me however, was the history of the various black movements. From the Garveyites to the current Nation of Islam under Louis Farrakhan, the changes and shifts are enthralling.

by Chris Doelle