Manning Marable’s Controversial New Biography Refuels Debate on Life and Legacy of Malcolm X

After two decades of work, Dr. Manning Marable completed a new biography, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.” Dr. Marable used material for his book that recently made available, thus providing a new insight into the famed civil rights leader. His biography, however, has also refueled the debate on many controversial aspects of Malcolm X’s life and interpretation of his politics and legacy. To discuss the Dr. Marable’s biography, we host a roundtable discussion with three guests. Amiri Baraka is an acclaimed poet, playwright, music historian and activist based in Newark, New Jersey. Herb Boyd is Harlem-based activist, teacher and author who edits the online publication, The Black World Today and writes for several publications, including Amsterdam News. Michael Eric Dyson is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University and is the author of numerous books including, “Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X.”

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A Black President? Sure. But If We Don’t Do Nothin’ He Won’t Do Nothin’

A speech by Amiri Baraka, recorded earlier this month in Newark via Black Agenda Report

Give Obama a break, some of his supporters argue. He’s got to get elected first. Till them he can’t be seen acknowledging the needs of Black America for job creation on a vast scale, for an end to foreclosures, the repeal of No Child Left Behind, the equitable rebuilding of the Gulf Coast, and lowering of the prison population and cutting military budget to free up money for these and other human needs.

Poet, playwright and longtime activist Amiri Baraka has a different take on the Obama candidacy, and the responsibility of the politically conscious. In this speech he cautions those who imagine Obama will make a difference without a strong left movement pressuring and pushing him further and faster than he and his corporate backers really want to go.

“Even if there’s gonna be a black president,” said Baraka in Newark early this month, “if we don’t do nothin’ he won’t do nothin’… the less we do, the less we can expect Obama to respond to us…”
Baraka took to task those who criticize Obama without actually organizing anything on the ground in their communities.

“The question,” he said, “is what will you do, where will you go with the one opening that they leave you which they claim is democracy.”

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