Malcom X movie starts with a feature of an American flag that is being consumed with fire. A voice of Denzel Washington who is as Malcom X is heard condemning the white America. He says that they don’t ever see the said American dream as what they were experiencing was an American nightmare. The burning flag at last becomes letter” X”.
In the Denzel Washington who sin as Malcom Little is a petty thief, prostitute peddler, a cocaine addict, a small-time gangster and a dynamite swing dancer. Malcom falls with Delroy Lindo a West Indian Archie during the Second World War as he was plying his normal trade in New York and Boston. In the mean time he is busted with his accomplice and a long time friend Shorty and he is eventually sent to jail.
In jail, almost the period that Jackie Robinson made great leagues in baseball, Malcom Little changes name to Malcom X in order to shuck off “slave name” that he had acquired. This is the time that a great black leader of the Americans starts to rise. In the Malcom’s criminal outlook about life looks like that of Islam, annoying, schooled by a pushy and racist fellow convict Albert Hall who is Baines in the movie. Malcom is not in good terms with Baines in jail because he sees him as a black racist with religious hypocrisy.
On leaving prison Malcom is as one of the greatest exponents of Islam. He is also an intelligent, an articulate, outspoken community leader who breath condemnation and fire against the white man. This causes a lot of civil discomfort that leads to him being assassinated. Malcom preaches about Elijah Muhammad who he refers to as honorable. Muhammad is treated as a deity but he was a blood and flesh individual. However, honorable Muhammad turns out not to be so honorable when information leaked out that two teenage girls had sired children through his heavenly sperms. Malcom meets the teenage girls and learns the pornographic truth. This makes him so disappointed and he parts ways with Elijah. This is an example of conflict of interest and conflict due to betrayal.
As demonstrated by Denzel Malcom was a very fiery leader in politics but Denzel’s charisma and sexuality are on the podium, turned to breaking point. This is a very clear example of a black panther. It is however unfortunate for Malcom as he resort to go back to church so as to unite people. This episode shows that he had conflict of interest between religion and politics.
Malcom regrets to have made such sweeping indictments of white individuals. He goes to Mecca and this is seen as blanket other superstitions with one. Angela Basset acts as Malcom’s wife who is filled with the holy spirit and she exhibit all the hypocrisy that any woman would. She pretends to be loving, spiritual and obedient but she is only a gold digger who lavish with leaders with fancy houses and cars. There is a conflict within Angel’s own mind as she thought marrying the famous Malcom X would have brought her glam but she realizes she hasn’t gotten it. Malcom is seen as a charismatic, inspirational and brimstone leader for black movement. The idea of Islam brings a conflict between him and other non Islamic people. Malcom was assassinated in Manhattan’s Audobon Ballroom on 21st February 1965. The assassins were the very people who referred him as a religious hypocrite because of defecting from them. This also is a sign of conflict.
According to Malcom X’s movie, subculture refers to a group of youths who subscribed to certain believes and norms. During the days of Malcom X and as illustrated in his movie there were two type of subcultures; hippie or hippy and the perennial subcultures. Webster’s dictionary describes a “hippie” or “hippy” as a young individual of the 1960’s who rejected or was against the set social mores, free expression of love and consciousness, advocated spontaneity, wore long hair and their clothes wore unconventional and they used psychedelic drugs. In the movie Malcom X as seventeen years old teenager while living in Harlem noted that a few white men that lived around Harlem especially the younger ones were called hippies as they acted more of Negro than the Negroes. These young individuals talked more “hip” than Malcom X did and other young blacks did. This to Malcom X was like a race difference as he says he would fight anyone who suggested that the actions of the young white were a sign of racial indifference.
The hippie subculture started as a youth movement in the United States in the mid 1960. This culture eventually spread out to other countries. Hipster was the etymology that brought the term “hippie” which was a description of the beatniks who came into San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury. This subculture came up with their own communities, they listened to psychedelic rock, they had an aspiration of exploring states of consciousness that are altered , they also embraced sexual revolution and they used some drugs such as cannabis and magic mushroom.
Summer love popularized the hippie culture in Human Be-In in San Francisco in 1997. Hippie movement was among the dissenting groups in 1960’s. They were along with American civil right movement and new left. The hippies opposed established institutions, they too opposed nuclear weapons, they criticized the values of the middle class, opposed Vietnam War, they were often vegetarians and friendly to the environment, they embraced eastern philosophy and formed international communities.
The hippies used different arts such as street theatre, psychedelic rock and fork music as their way of feeling expression, protests, a way of life of lifestyle, their vision of the entire world and life at large. Hippies rejected social orthodoxy and politics. They chose a non doctrine ideology and a gentle that was in favor of peace, love, unity and personal freedom. The hippies had a concluded assumption that the dominant culture was a corrupt and a monolithic entity that subjected excess pressure over their lives. They referred to this culture as “the man”, “big brother” and “the establishment”. They assumed that the dominant cultures were seekers of value and meaning.
A counter culture can be referred to as a subculture whose norms and values of behavior goes against the normal of deviates the main behavioral stream. They tend to oppose acceptable cultural mores. Counter cultures arise with some sort of frequency. A counterculture includes a good number of people who persist for a long period of time. Counter cultural movements expresses aspirations, ethos and dreams of a certain population from a well defined era. This is referred to as social manifestation of the zeitgeist. Cultural changes can be triggered when opposition forces come to a critical mass.
Beat generation is a counter culture in the United States that emanates in the movie of Malcom X. this culture was in existence between 1944 and 1964.As in the third chapter norms are rules that govern a behavior that is part of a collective ideology of a group. Norms usually are a reflection of a group’s values and outlines those actions that are right and those that are against. They too define a reward of admission and submission and punishment that come along with disobeying the rules or for non conformity. Although norms are sometimes considered as formal laws in a given society they work too to promote an essence of social control amongst people in a society. Social norms are enforced either formally with sanctions or informally through cues of non verbal communication and through body language.
Folkways are practices, beliefs and customs that are shared by a group of people as part of their culture. The folkways of a certain group of individuals are like a habit which arises from frequent usage of actions that have proved successful for basic human needs satisfaction. The acts then become uniform and eventually accepted widely. Folkways operate primarily more so at unconscious stage and persist as they become strong. Folkways tend to group themselves around such social concerns as sex and family. Habits, religious and traditional sanctions strengthen folkways then they become more positive, arbitrary and more compelling. Folkways eventually become ethical principles.
Mores are traditional customs that are accepted and are only used by a particular group fo individuals. They are manners, ways and moral attitudes. Mores are very widely accepted by either a certain community or a certain group people who adhere to them and keep practicing them. Mores may include acts like incest or pederasty.
A taboo is an inhibition or a ban that results from social customs and or emotional aversion. These are things that are unacceptable in a society. From the Malcom X movie honorable Elijah plants life in two teenage girls which is a taboo according to the religious believes.
Malcom X preached in both Islam and Christian churches. The message was that same about the liberation of the black people in the United States of America. He preached of equity amongst all races. Baines as illustrated in the movie I seen as promoting ethnocentrism as he is a black individual but still believes that he should not cooperate with others even in jail. Though he is black he still holds racial values. Elijah Muhammad is seen as a cultural relativist. This is true as he plants life in two teenagers and holds that they were given the impregnate by heavenly sperms. This is however not true as found out by Malcom. On the other hand hippies are cultural relativists too as they holds on their cultures no matter what is said against them. Despite their countable numbers they not feel inferior about their culture.
There are many insights that can depicted from the movie of Malcom X. The social massage in the movie is on moral integrity. Morals are the guiding principles to every step and action that one makes in life. The steps can be well calculated nut with poor of unfit morals one is prone to fail. From the movie, Elijah Muhammad who is a highly respected spiritual leader losses his respect and values when Malcom finds out that has was the one responsible for siring children from two teenage girls. At first he cheats that they were sired with sperms from heaven. Too Malcom’s with does not keep her moral values as a woman. She goes lavishing with other men who had good houses and cars. Her marriage to Malcom was not driven by love but her own personal desires. This is an act of decadence of moral values in the society. Lastly the assassination of Malcom X is a clear show of lack of moral values in the society. There is no respect for human life. Too the act of Malcom X double dealings in the religion front propagated his death. Had he stood up for principles and morals he would not have had the tag of a religious hypocrite which earned him his life.