REMEMBERING MALCOLM: The Story of Malcolm X from Inside the Muslim Mosque by Benjamin with David Gallen & Peter Skutches Karim

REMEMBERING MALCOLM: The Story of Malcolm X from Inside the Muslim Mosque

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Admirably modest, intimate, and compelling dual bio/memoir of Malcolm X and his assistant minister Benjamin Goodman, now Benjamin Karim. Karim offers a rich sketch of Malcolm X that gives us a fairly rounded image of the charismatic but puritanical leader and that pushes his human side to the fore. If one wants to meet Malcolm X the man rather than dig into assassination theories, as in Karl Evanzz's The Judas Factor (p. 1290), or into the assassination itself, as in Michael Friedly's Malcolm X (reviewed above), then this is the book. One cannot help but be impressed with the moral genius that Malcolm shines with in Goodman's eyes. Moreover, the picture that Goodman shows of Muslim daily life and of the spirit behind Muslim practices (African-American version), with its emphasis on self-esteem and philosophic growth, will infuse readers with new understanding of Malcolm X and his movement. Karim's own background, first as a poor southerner raised in Virginia, then as a USAF airman in Korea, makes clear why he was ripe for Islam and Malcolm X's fiery rhetoric. Whites (and the white press) often saw Malcolm X through a cloud of their own fears. But Malcolm X, Goodman says, ""did not preach violence, he preached consciousness."" Moreover, ""charity lay at the heart of Malcolm's ministry....He gave us his ear, he shared with us his wisdom. He met our needs willingly."" We see Malcolm X in his attic study, refining both his speeches and his intellect: ""The lessons Malcolm taught were simple ones....Be honest. Harm no one, and take nothing that is not yours. Treat others as you would be treated by them. Exercise self-control. Avoid extremes, keep a middle path. Pay your taxes. Obey the law."" A most rewarding remembrance.

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 1992
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Carroll & Graf