The Iconography of Malcolm X

Overview


From Detroit Red to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, the man best known as Malcolm X restlessly redefined himself throughout a controversial life. His transformations have appeared repeatedly in books, photographs, paintings, and films, while his murder set in motion a series of tugs-of-war among journalists, biographers, artists, and his ideological champions over the interpretation of his cultural meaning.

This book marks the first systematic examination of the images generated by ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $17.95   
  • New (7) from $19.75   
  • Used (4) from $17.95   
Sending request ...

Overview


From Detroit Red to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, the man best known as Malcolm X restlessly redefined himself throughout a controversial life. His transformations have appeared repeatedly in books, photographs, paintings, and films, while his murder set in motion a series of tugs-of-war among journalists, biographers, artists, and his ideological champions over the interpretation of his cultural meaning.

This book marks the first systematic examination of the images generated by this iconic cultural figure—images readily found on everything from T-shirts and hip-hop album covers to coffee mugs. Graeme Abernethy captures both the multiplicity and global import of a person who has been framed as both villain and hero, cast by mainstream media during his lifetime as "the most feared man in American history," and elevated at his death as a heroic emblem of African American identity. As Abernethy shows, the resulting iconography of Malcolm X has shifted as profoundly as the American racial landscape itself.

Abernethy explores Malcolm's visual prominence in the eras of civil rights, Black Power, and hip-hop. He analyzes this enigmatic figure's representation across a variety of media from 1960s magazines to urban murals, tracking the evolution of Malcolm's iconography from his autobiography and its radical milieu through the appearance of Spike Lee's 1992 biopic and beyond. Its remarkable gallery of illustrations includes reproductions of iconic photographs by Richard Avedon, Eve Arnold, Gordon Parks, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and John Launois.

Abernethy reveals that Malcolm X himself was keenly aware of the power of imagery to redefine identity and worked tirelessly to shape how he was represented to the public. His theoretical grasp of what he termed "the science of imagery" enabled him both to analyze the role of representation in ideological control as well as to exploit his own image in the interests of black empowerment.

This provocative work marks a startling shift from the biographical focus that has dominated Malcolm X studies, providing an up-to-date—and comprehensively illustrated—account of Malcolm's cultural afterlife, and addressing his iconography in relation to images of other major African American figures, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Angela Davis, Kanye West, and Barack Obama. Analyzing the competing interpretations behind so many images, Abernethy reveals what our lasting obsession with Malcolm X says about American culture over the last five decades.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An impressive and imaginative contribution to the literature about the changing images of Malcolm X's life and career in the black liberation struggle."--Clarence E. Walker, author of We Can't Go Home Again: An Argument about Afrocentrism

"Abernethy's use of iconography aesthetics effectively locates Malcolm X in place, space, and time. It is a significant contribution to our understanding of a key figure in African American history."--James L. Conyers, Jr., coeditor of Malcolm X: A Historical Reader

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700619207
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Series: CultureAmerica
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 1,263,588
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Graeme Abernethy is a writer, researcher, and educator based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Science of Imagery

1. Early Images of Malcolm X (1957-1965)

2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)

3. Mainstream Culture and Cultural Revolution (1965-1980)

4. From Hollywood to Hip-Hop (1980 to the present)

Conclusion: Continuing Signification

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)