Malcolm X Multimedia Study Environment

As the most popular and accessible primary text on Malcolm X, The Autobiography has been both an aid and an impediment to would-be biographers. On the one hand, Malcolm X’s autobiography represents his own personal account of his life story as told to Alex Haley. On the other hand, it contains notable silences on the part of both Malcolm X and Haley that fail to reconcile the inconsistencies, errors of fact, and other problems that are inevitably part of any autobiography. Thus, in order to provide an exhaustive biographical study of Malcolm X, the MSE allows users to reexamine and reconstruct Malcolm X’s Autobiography by connecting his narrative to critical annotations and a digital archive of multimedia primary source materials.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X Multimedia Study Environment is based on a template that presents a primary text online with hyperlinks to critical annotations, audio, video, text, and images.

Traditionally, scholars have examined and discussed Malcolm X as a political figure, and as a result, much of the existing scholarship has focused almost exclusively on the political aspect of his life and legacy. What has emerged from this single focus is a convincing portrait of the man as a black nationalist. While we accept that black nationalism was an important part of Malcolm X’s life, we believe that the complexity of his life and ideas cannot be fully appreciated by viewing him from simply this perspective. A more complex study of his entire life reveals him to be not only a political figure in this tradition, but also a cultural hero, a global citizen, and a man of deep faith.

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