Making Malcolm by Michael Eric Dyson
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Making Malcolm
By Michael Eric Dyson

Making Malcolm

Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X

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Format: Paperback

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Making Malcolm by Michael Eric Dyson

Book Description

Twenty years after his assassination, what is it about Malcolm X's life and words that speaks so powerfully to so many? In Making Malcolm, Michael Eric Dyson probes the myths and meanings of Malcolm X for our time. From Spike Lee's film biography to Eugene Wolfenstein's psychobiographical study, from hip-hop culture to gender and racial politics, Dyson cuts a critical swathe through both the idolization and the vicious caricatures that have undermined appreciation of Malcolm's greatest accomplishments. A rare and important book, Making Malcolm casts new light not only on the life and career of a seminal black leader, but on the aspirations and passions of the growing numbers who have seized on his life for insight and inspiration.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195102857
ISBN-10: 0195102851
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 135mm x 13mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 25-Apr-1996
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

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Hip HOP, Portraits of an Urban Hymn by Michael Eric Dyson Hip HOP, Portraits of an Urban Hymn, Hardback (September 2013)

Since its inception in the 1970s, hip hop music and the culture surrounding it has become hugely influential. But, few artists have explored the complexity of the phenomenon. With David Scheinbaum's images and incisive texts this book will look at Hip Hop as a positive cultural influence that is akin to the youth movements of the 1960s.

Articulate While Black by Michael Eric Dyson Articulate While Black, Hardback (October 2012)

In Articulate While Black, two renowned scholars of Black Language address language and racial politics in the U.S. through an insightful examination of President Barack Obama's language use-and America's response to it.

That's the Joint! by Michael Eric Dyson That's the Joint!, Hardback (September 2011)

Brings together some of the best-known and most influential writings on rap and hip-hop from its beginnings onwards. This edition includes coverage of gender and racial diversity in hip-hop, and takes a look at hip-hop's role in politics, including the 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama.

» View all books by Michael Eric Dyson


US Kirkus Review » An intriguing but uneven essay on the enduring influence and image of Malcolm X, by the author of Reflecting Black (not reviewed). Dyson (Communications Studies/Univ, of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) prefaces his book with an arresting anecdote about leading a Malcolm X seminar at Brown University, where he publicly scolded black male students who imposed a "racial litmus test" to claim for themselves exclusive rights to Malcom's legacy (i.e., "because I'm black, poor, male and angry, I understand him better than you"). Had Dyson drawn more frequently on classroom experiences, this book might have been energized. He first briefly sketches Malcolm's life and thought (avoiding lionization by noting his harsh attitudes toward women) and the complexity of his political evolution away from the Nation of Islam and black nationalism. Next comes a long assessment of the "uncritical celebration and vicious criticism" that mark so many books on Malcolm; Dyson identifies "four Malcolms" that emerge from these assessments: hero/saint; public moralist; victim and vehicle of psychohistorical forces; and revolutionary socialist. He then analyzes Malcolm's role in the resurgence of black nationalism, noting that his defiance has been adopted by tappers and other disaffected black youth. However, while calling for a "new progressive black politics," Dyson doesn't analyze the role of the Nation of Islam or of black leaders like the Rev. Al Sharpton on the contemporary black political scene. His next chapter, on masculinity in 1990s black film, strays somewhat from his subject; more interesting is his take on Spike Lee's Malcolm X, which Dyson considers hagiographic but also "often impressive...richly textured and subtly nuanced." The book concludes with a heartfelt meditation on how to make the best use of Malcolm's legacy. Dyson calls for a more complex debate on the state of black males, suggesting that Malcolm's message of self-discipline and self-love might be redemptive. Not as rich as Joe Wood's collection, Malcolm X: In Our Own Image (not reviewed), but useful for serious students. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson is an ordained Baptist minister and Professor of Communications Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of the acclaimed Between God and Gangsta' Rap (OUP USA, 1996), and his work has appeared in The New York Times,The Washington Post, Emerge Magazine, The Nation, Vibe, andRolling Stone.

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