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The Legacy of Malcolm X
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The Legacy of Malcolm X

Author: Duke Islamic Studies Center, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Department of Religious Stuides, African and African American Studies, Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civiilizations

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February 21, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of one of the most iconic leaders of the 20th century, Malcolm X El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. This conference brings together scholars from a variety of fields and is an invitation to connect our ideas, research projects, and activism across disciplinary divides.
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Mark Anthony Neal is a Professor of African & African American Studies at Duke University. Neal moderated this question and answer session on The American Malcolm panel with participants William Chafe, Sandy Darity and Zaheer Ali.This session was part of "The American Malcolm" panel that took place Friday, February 20, 2015 as part of the The Legacy of Malcolm X conference. The conference was sponsored by Duke Islamic Studies Center. Cosponsors were Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Duke University), Department of Religious Studies (Duke University), African and African American Studies (Duke University), and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations (UNC-Chapel Hill). Co-organizers for the conference are Omid Safi (Duke), Juliane Hammer (UNC-CH), and Mark Anthony Neal (Duke).
William A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Duke Consortium on Social Equity at Duke University.Black men who express or demonstrate a willingness to take violent action in the cause of liberation stir a vast response in American literature and film. The portrayals of Malcolm X and Nat Turner in both fiction and historical works constitute paradigmatic examples of that interest. Darity's presentation will explore the thick array of parallels in the treatment of these two militant figures in America’s racial iconography. A central message. paraphrasing the title of Charles Burnett’s film on the Turner revolt, is both men are “troublesome properties”in terms of who “owns” their respective stories.This presentation was part of "The American Malcolm" panel that took place Friday, February 20, 2015 as part of the The Legacy of Malcolm X conference. The conference was sponsored by Duke Islamic Studies Center. Cosponsors were Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Duke University), Department of Religious Studies (Duke University), African and African American Studies (Duke University), and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations (UNC-Chapel Hill). Co-organizers for the conference are Omid Safi (Duke), Juliane Hammer (UNC-CH), and Mark Anthony Neal (Duke).
Zaheer Ali is a Ph.D. student in history at Columbia University, where he is completing his dissertation on the history of the Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 7 in Harlem, New York, 1954-1965.Malcolm X’s life and legacy had a profound impact on popular culture, especially evidenced in the use of his voice, image, and ideas in popular music. The Malcolm X Mixtape Project is a digital humanities project documenting his musical legacy that—by the time of its completion—will include nearly 50 songs released from 1970 to the present, covering a range of music genres, including spoken word, world music, hip hop, rock, punk, and folk. Published online, the purpose of the Malcolm X Mixtape Project is to provide a curated archive of music, video, image, and text that traces popular memorials of Malcolm X, as a means through which to examine the changing social contexts in which artists and their audiences experienced these memorials.Through that frame, this particular presentation will examine the ways that 1980s and early ‘90s recoveries of Malcolm X in hip hop reflected an ambivalence about his break from the Nation of Islam (NOI). While noting the selectivity of these memories, this presentation argues that the long tradition of African American Muslim community organizing, public engagement, and justice work—especially embodied institutionally in the NOI—was prioritized in these selections. Finally, the presentation concludes by reflecting on the social need for historical continuity (rather than fracture) and the importance of activism in fulfilling that need.This presentation was part of "The American Malcolm" panel that took place Friday, February 20, 2015 as part of the The Legacy of Malcolm X conference. The conference was sponsored by Duke Islamic Studies Center. Cosponsors were Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Duke University), Department of Religious Studies (Duke University), African and African American Studies (Duke University), and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations (UNC-Chapel Hill). Co-organizers for the conference are Omid Safi (Duke), Juliane Hammer (UNC-CH), and Mark Anthony Neal (Duke).
Positioning Malcolm X

Positioning Malcolm X

2015-03-1600:09:55

Bill Chafe will discuss how Malcolm X embodied a militant, black-power perspective—a perspective that was rooted in both his own history and his religious convictions. Malcom X’s revised perspective on the Nation of Islam after his trip to Africa made him ready—and willing—to help more moderate leaders of the movement, like Martin Luther King, Jr., tactically by making Dr. King seem reasonable by comparison with the more radical stances Malcolm embrace.This presentation was part of "The American Malcolm" panel that took place Friday, February 20, 2015 as part of the The Legacy of Malcolm X conference. The conference was sponsored by Duke Islamic Studies Center. Cosponsors were Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Duke University), Department of Religious Studies (Duke University), African and African American Studies (Duke University), and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations (UNC-Chapel Hill). Co-organizers for the conference are Omid Safi (Duke), Juliane Hammer (UNC-CH), and Mark Anthony Neal (Duke).
Hisham Aidi teaches political science and African Studies at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.This presentation discusses Malcolm X’s sojourn in Egypt and Ghana in 1964, his engagement with local cultural and political movements, and with the African American expatriate communities of Cairo and Accra that were, in the words of Julian Mayfield, trying to forge a Black Aesthetic for the cause of Black Liberation. This presentation will also examine how fifty years after his death, Malcolm X has become central to Muslim youth movements and to debates about integration and radicalization in Europe.This presentation was part of "The Global Malcolm" panel that took place Friday, February 20, 2015 as part of the The Legacy of Malcolm X conference. The conference was sponsored by Duke Islamic Studies Center. Cosponsors were Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Duke University), Department of Religious Studies (Duke University), African and African American Studies (Duke University), and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations (UNC-Chapel Hill). Co-organizers for the conference are Omid Safi (Duke), Juliane Hammer (UNC-CH), and Mark Anthony Neal (Duke).
Sohail Daulatzai is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies and the Program in African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine.Malcolm X continues to haunt. From the racial liberalism of the Cold War to the imperial multiculturalism of the “War on Terror,” this talk will explore the meaning and implications of Malcolm’s recurrent presence within the culture and politics of U.S race craft. From his challenge to the Cold War and Civil Rights in the era of Third World decolonization, to his re-emergence within hip-hop culture in the Reagan-Bush-Clinton era that coincided with the end of the Cold War, the emergence of the “culture wars,” and the rise of Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” thesis, to his relevance in the post-9/11 climate and elections of Obama, Malcolm X has been an enduring reminder, the martyr that upsets the peace.This presentation was part of "The Global Malcolm" panel that took place Friday, February 20, 2015 as part of the The Legacy of Malcolm X conference. The conference was sponsored by Duke Islamic Studies Center. Cosponsors were Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Duke University), Department of Religious Studies (Duke University), African and African American Studies (Duke University), and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations (UNC-Chapel Hill). Co-organizers for the conference are Omid Safi (Duke), Juliane Hammer (UNC-CH), and Mark Anthony Neal (Duke).
The Ummic Imperative

The Ummic Imperative

2015-03-1600:20:20

Maytha Alhassen is a University of Southern California (USC) Provost Ph.D. Although Malcolm X’s Egyptian Gazette “Zionist Logic” op-ed published on September 17, 1964 received considerable attention from Malcolmologists, origins of his political philosophical development on the Palestine Question remain a mystery. This presentation seeks to appraise the influence of a praxical Islamic Humanism on Malcolm’s pro-Palestine politics.In order to explore the political and spiritual relevance of his experience with the Arab world, Alhassen examines one of Malcolm’s post-Hajj political passions underserved by the Autobiography: support for Palestinian liberation. Sharp reliance on the Autobiography and historical renderings on the man continue to repackage and sell the myth to the general public that Malcolm X was anti-Semitic. In countering this in what follows, Alhassen argues that it was not anti-Jewish sentiment but Malcolm X’s advocacy of radical humanism through the lens of Islam, and more specifically his post-Nation of Islam (NOI) spiritual education, that fundamentally shaped and formulated his anti-Zionist politics. Malcolm, it appears, did not just want to internationalize the African American plight and link it up to the “Darkskinism (or the dark world’s struggle).” He wanted to internationalize Islamic humanist principles. Although Malcolm, it can be argued, was fully committed to and preliminary concerned with Black American liberation, he did so within the underpinnings of a spiritual compass that valued principles of universal brotherhood, human rights (defined as Freedom, Justice and Equality[1]), and tawhid (the Oneness of God). Malcolm, thus, not only prescribed Islam as an antidote to America’s “cancer of racism,” but as a spiritual commitment that pushed his advocacy of human rights for “22 million African Americans,” his support for third world “dark-skinned” anti-imperialist liberation movements worldwide and his political and ethical concerns over Zionist practices and policies; especially in the ways it repackaged American “dollarism.”This presentation was part of "The Global Malcolm" panel that took place Friday, February 20, 2015 as part of the The Legacy of Malcolm X conference. The conference was sponsored by Duke Islamic Studies Center. Cosponsors were Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Duke University), Department of Religious Studies (Duke University), African and African American Studies (Duke University), and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations (UNC-Chapel Hill). Co-organizers for the conference are Omid Safi (Duke), Juliane Hammer (UNC-CH), and Mark Anthony Neal (Duke).
Abbas Barzegar is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University. Barzegar moderates this question and answer session on The Global Malcolm panel with participants Hisham Aidi, Maytha Alhassen, and Sohail Daulatzai.This session was part of "The Global Malcolm" panel that took place Friday, February 20, 2015 as part of the The Legacy of Malcolm X conference. The conference was sponsored by Duke Islamic Studies Center. Cosponsors were Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Duke University), Department of Religious Studies (Duke University), African and African American Studies (Duke University), and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations (UNC-Chapel Hill). Co-organizers for the conference are Omid Safi (Duke), Juliane Hammer (UNC-CH), and Mark Anthony Neal (Duke).
Opening Remarks

Opening Remarks

2015-03-1600:13:05

February 21, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of one of the most iconic leaders of the 20th century, Malcolm X El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. This conference brings together scholars from a variety of fields and is an invitation to connect our ideas, research projects, and activism across disciplinary divides.This conference is sponsored by Duke Islamic Studies Center. Cosponsors are Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Duke University), Department of Religious Studies (Duke University), African and African American Studies (Duke University), and the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations (UNC-Chapel Hill). Co-organizers for the conference are Omid Safi (Duke), Juliane Hammer (UNC-CH), and Mark Anthony Neal (Duke).
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