Malcolm X: Historical Perceptions

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The impetus for the development for this major work arose from the varied and largely, colorful interpretations of Malcolm X. The differences seem to have arisen from scholars and historians use and understanding of many different and varied sources and most important, their own perspective of the events as they unfolded. How historians approached Malcolm X is of paramount importance to future historians and more importantly, to the study of history. Principally, these differences of thought and perspective are greatly determined by the writer's context, which in turn is at the core of the focus question, concerning the historiographical issue whether each generation writes the same history in a new way. Furthermore the purpose of
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The change that this generation experienced is a prime example of how each generation will write the same history in a new way from a new perspective. The conservative American historian Edward Woods (1920-1999), who wrote at a time of considerable turbulence and disruption where in which ‘The New Spring Time of the Peoples' of the 1950s and 1960s was at its height causing great concern within American society who equated radicalism with a violent anarchist or communist uprising/revolution. Again, like the "Red Scare' of the 1920s and the McCarthyism of 1950s, ‘the fear of an outbreak of a socialist, communist or a race uprising led to re-assertion of conservatism coupled with so-called "traditional American" values within white upper and middle class America.' Woods, specifically through his Race, Desegregation and the American Way (1972) and The History of the American Civil Rights Movement (1973), deconstructs the figure of Malcolm X according to the duality of his movement, focusing on ‘Black Nationalism' and later, the pacifist and non-violence philosophy that characterized his movement.

Edward Woods spills a great deal of ink throughout his books to promote the view that Malcolm was ‘a dangerous extremist' who was ‘bent on undermining the social, cultural and religious founding of the nation through "Black Nationalism"' as well as through ‘the propagation of the
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