Michael Strode's Reviews > Black Book

Black Book by Yussuf Naim Kly
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's review
Mar 15, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: panafronationalism, islam, read-in-2011
Read from March 15 to April 11, 2011

I reiterate a point I made in a previous update on this book. It is intensely academic almost to its detriment. It is so academic and incisive that I am disappointed that they did not footnote each section with the sourced material so that we can determine how they drew their conclusions as to what Malcolm would do or say. I also state again that it must be read in the context of Malcolm's other works lest one fail to understand how nuanced and critical Malcolm was and readily capable of integrating new information to craft a new assessment of the problem and necessary solution.

This is the primary problem with this text. Malcolm was constantly shift his strategy. Muslim Mosque Inc. I need an irreligious context. OAAU. I need to broaden my capacity to organize against all manner of oppression. UN. Oppression in a world context. This book takes a snapshot of that Malcolm and creates opinions on post-mortem events based upon his pre-mortem positions. It still makes for a good read. The appendix is a useful dialogue on autocratic and authoritarian leadership amongst African American organizations and how this loss of democratic context creates a similar dissatisfaction to irresponsible authoritarian leadership in Africa and causes the people to eventually gravitate away from these organizations. There is a large section at the beginning of the book on the Islamic concept of jihad and whether or not Malcolm's revolutionary stance constituted such a thing. I found it largely unnecessary towards comprehending the broader concept of Malcolm's philosophy throughout the rest of the text. I skipped over it entirely.

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Reading Progress

03/15/2011 page 30
03/24/2011 page 45
43.0% "Take this text with a grain of salt and free access to a larger library of Malcolm's writing, speeches, and life's work. It is certainly not to say that Bro. Kly is untruthful or misrepresents the philosophy, but occasionally I stumble over an ideological conflict with some of Malcolm's lecture and I choose to err on the side of Malcolm's words instead this interpretation."
04/04/2011 page 45
43.0% "The language is stiff and academic. It requires a manner of classroom study. I don't think Malcolm would have dispensed his philosophy in this manner. I hold it against Marcus Garvey's "School of African Philosophy" for comparison. That one was more focused on finding ways to reach the real nuggets of wisdom of Garvey's philosophy of organizing on behalf of black people. This could have been done better."

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