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Film as a Secondary Source

The film overall is very accurate in historically portraying the life of Malcolm X, from his childhood to the day of his assassination. Spike Lee closely followed The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley, to show the audience of any race the true Malcolm X. Lee even follows most of the dialect written by Malcolm X in his autobiography. An example is in the beginning of the film; Lee uses the dialogue from the book in chapter one called “Nightmare.” Malcolm X wrote, “When my mother was pregnant with me, she told me later, a party of hooded Ku Klux Klan riders galloped up to our home in Omaha, Nebraska, one night… they shouted for my father to come out. My mother went to the front door and opened it. Standing where they could see her pregnant condition, she told them that she was alone with her three small children and that my father was away, preaching in Milwaukee” (1963).[1] Furthermore, Lee did not leave out information on how Malcolm believed the white people were the devil. Malcolm’s view though, does change after his trip to Mecca and when he realized that ‘we are all brothers’ and that color does not matter. To further explain the life of Malcolm, Lee breaks down his life into three sections. The three sections are his childhood, life in prison while being introduced to the teachings of the Nation of Islam, and his religious conversion in, which he splits from his leader Elijah Muhammad due to his unfaithfulness to the religion.

Denzel as Malcolm X in Harlem, NY Speaking:

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Malcolm X in Harlem, NY Speaking:

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[1] Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (New York: Ballantine Books, 1965), 1-2.

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