Malcolm X as Icon

Malcolm X as Icon

It is a strange time, indeed, when a dead man is brought back from the grave to inspire the living. As far as we know, such an act of resurrection costs the dead nothing. It might even be a source of amusement in an otherwise drear eternity. But what does it say of the living?

The ascendancy of Malcolm X as a political icon bespeaks much about a vacuity in the political and intellectual leadership of black America, a leadership that all too often has played the roles of drum majors and majorettes in the cause of a black racial mystique. Malcolm’s return also indicates that significant numbers of blacks dwell in valleys of such deep and deathly shadows that their only rays of hope emanate from the charisma of an apparition.

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