Initial response to Malcolm X and Black Rage Essay
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In the essay, Cornel West tries to explain how Malcolm X’s “Black Rage” articulation wasn’t directed at white americans only, but also to black americans who view their lives and minds through what West describes as “White lenses”. West also claims that Malcolm X’s idea of “psychic conversation” would promote blacks to turn that rage to love and appreciation of their own culture and self worth. Another claim West mentions is that the idea of psychic conversation struck fear into black professionals, due to their constant surrounding of white social circles, but at the same time understand the idea precisely for the exact same reason.
West compares these kind of individuals to Du Bois’s idea of “double consciousness”. Blacks living between their own live and whites, never settle in either, yet crave acceptance mainly from whites. ! West also believed that Malcolm X viewed black equality as a farfetched possibility due to the majority of white racists, and black victims of democracy.
What interests me the most is that Malcolm X feared cultural hybridity even though he, himself, comes from a hybrid culture. But eventually Malcolm X began to slowly remove that fear after looking into the acceptance of humanity regardless of race, class, or gender in the Islamic regimes of Muslims in the Middle East.
In the end of the essay, West thinks that future generations should take Malcolm X’s “black rage” and “psychic conversation” as an example of rejection to any sorts of inequality. I strongly agree with West’s idea to follow such examples in order to achieve change in human equality and acceptance.