Here at Films of Color, it’s all Black all the time, but for Black History Month, we wanted to highlight films that depict our history, both good and bad. We will feature biopics and films that center around certain key events in history. Each day, a new film or miniseries will be featured. First on the list is Malcolm X.
Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little, was a well-known advocate for Black rights. Although he didn’t even make it to forty, he lived the life of someone twice his age. He went from a life of crime to prison to the Malcolm X we know.
Malcolm X joined the Nation of Islam and rose to become one of its leaders, helping it grow. He soon became a public figure. He used his platform to take whites to task for the centuries of their treatment of Black people. His views were seen as controversial and contradictory to aspects of the Civil Rights Movement.
After leaving the Nation, he converted to Sunni Islam. After he took the pilgrimage to Mecca, his views on race changed. Unfortunately, he was assassinated not too long afterwards.
Malcolm X, the 1992 Spike Lee film based on The Autobiography of Malcolm X, details the key events of Malcolm X’s life. Denzel Washington played Malcolm X in an unforgettable performance. For someone who didn’t look like Malcolm X, he made me believe that he was. His performance earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Malcolm X has made several “best of” lists and have been included the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
You can find Malcolm X here.