HEN THE WORD IS GIVEN by Louis E. Lomax

HEN THE WORD IS GIVEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A curious work. On the one hand it cluck-clucks with liberal condescension over Black Muslim extremism and its shibboleths of racial supremacy, separate statism and Western Gotterdammerung. On the other hand it remarks flatly that the indictment on which Black Muslim conviction rests is an accurate one; the white man, and not only the American white man, is a devil, or at least devilish. Further, though the introductory essay is spunky journalism, stuffed with smart socio-theological trappings, depth-wise it plummets about as far as recent Look/Life articles on the same subject went, which was hardly far- and they offered photos besides. Much of the volume dockets Elijah Muhammad's and Malcolm X's oratory at various cultural watering holes (Harvard, Yale, Atlanta, Harlem). Aside from high-minded platitudes and a few reasonable redress-of-wrongs overtures, in the main these are extended examples re Know Nothingness, inverted Ku Klux Klan ego- lifting and way-out mysticism, revivalist style. Nobody says too much on (1) if as the Muslims claim the Negroes are of the Arabic race and ethos, then why don't they emigrate? (2) if not, what political, economical and every other sort of modus vivendi shall be used in the set aside state demands? Above all, nary a grappling word on the anthropological conflicts involved or the underlying master-slave psychology invoked or denounced as the case may be. (The Muslims are very wobbly ""dialecticians"".) However, perhaps what Louis Lomax wanted was merely to startle the reader so he'll end intolerance and really integrate before all hell breaks loose. At that he strikingly succeeds.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1963
Publisher: World