Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Malcolm X rejected identity politics

"We must approach the problem as humans first, and whatever else we are second." —Malcolm X / El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

Quoted in Malcolm X, A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable. Like most of my favorite quotes from the man, that's from the last year of his life, when he was looking more clearly at the nature of identity and privilege.


  1. DSK#2 and I just watched Spike Lee's "Malcolm X". Despite (because of?) its hagiography, it was a moving and inspiring film, and it treated his conversion away from identity politics pretty forthrightly, in my view.

  2. I really do need to watch it someday. I understand it's missing one thing that I think is essential: apparently it includes Malcolm telling a white girl that she can't do anything to help black folks, but does not include his later regret for saying that.