In my opinion, Alex Haley's novel and Spike Lee's interpretation were both good representations of Malcolm X's life and ideals. Both were very detailed and entertaining in their depiction. Alex Haley's portrayal of Malcolm X's life as told by Malcolm, shares the same perception as the movie, but what Alex provides in the book many of Malcolm's various interactions with "white folks", and each interaction Malcolm gained something from it, some positive while others negative. For Example, while in middle school, Malcolm is first in his class, and class representative. All is well, but when Malcolm confronts his English teacher and tells him he wants to be a lawyer, the English teacher sees him as a carpenter. From this situation, Malcolm realizes that whites are content with Blacks succeeding as long as it does not affect their order of society.
When Malcolm moves to Harlem he takes on the criminal life, participating in robberies and burglaries. He also began associating with white women, which was a crime at this time. Eventually he gets arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison. Both the book and movie tell how he got one year for the burglaries and seven years for associating with white women while having sex with them. In the movie, Malcolm then sheds his last name and becomes a street-corner preacher who quickly rises until he is the a figure head in the Black Muslims, teaching that whites are the devil and that blacks must become independent and self-sufficient from whites. Denzel Washington is at the focal point of the movie. His actions as Malcolm X are very convincing. I enjoyed both the book and the movie. Overall, I enjoyed the movie more, but I think the book has a more influential effect. The movie and the book are very inspirational and unique.
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