Another reminder that yes, I’m getting old, is that Spike Lee’s iconic film MalcomX turned a whopping 20 this year. 20! As in two decades. And this milestone has gone completely under the radar with most media sites, including this one, for the most part.
How can this film, with the impact that it has had go unnoticed at this significant milestone? A film, which impacted society beyond belief.
I remember very vividly, myself and other young men and women of the black community wanting to become more aware of our history. I remember those X medallions, X baseball caps, and those Africa pendants. I remember a period in my childhood where some of history’s emphasis began to shift towards people like myself. It was refreshing being able to finally relate to the Malcoms and the Martins in our history books, instead of being forced into trying to relate with the Lincolns and the Franklins. Not that anything was wrong with them, but me being a child and witnessing some of the things that my mother tried preaching to me and my brother about society, that this movie had really opened my eyes.
There’s probably one other movie that I saw as a kid that had opened my eyes just as much and that would be Imitation of Life. I remember me and my mother watching this movie and then after watching it, myself becoming ever so proud that I had a mother like mine in my life when a lot of others didn’t. For those who aren’t familiar, Imitation of Life is a film about a young light-skinned black woman unable to accept the fact that her mother is black so that she can pass for white and she slowly dissociates herself from her. This film is definitely recommended to those who have not seen this movie and you should check out both versions of the film.
But back to my original point.
Many people remembered Malcolm as a man who famously said “by any means necessary” and not much anything else. People read The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, prior to the film’s release. People were surprised to find out that Malcolm X wasn’t this one-dimensional character scant history books had made him out to be. The book and especially this movie, presented a man whose life was as dynamic as they come. Malcolm X’s life was constantly in transition, as he diligently worked towards finding the truth and a solution to the race problem. It was this dynamic story that made him one of the most charismatic and powerful figures of the Civil Rights movements. He was a regular person, who chose education as a means of freedom.
In his own words, he said, “Of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward our research.”
For me, those words encapsulate the significance of Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. The film generated a rebirth of interest in education and historical preservation.
That’s why this milestone is important.
The 20th Anniversary Blu-ray release presents the original film along with the 1972 Oscar Nominated Documentary DVD of the same name. That’s right. This year is actually the 40-year Anniversary of the documentary and the 20-year Anniversary of Spike Lee’s biopic. Both films deserve their own viewing time. The documentary, comprised solely of archival footage, serves as a time capsule of Malcolm X’s journey.
This is my favorite scene in the film.
As far as biopics go, Spike Lee’s Malcolm X is a cinematic treasure. Packaged with the 1972 documentary, this release screams classic and to commemorate this occasion and Black History Month we are giving away one copy of this film on Blu Ray to one lucky reader of TheUrbanTwist.com.
All you have to do is leave a comment below and simply share a Black History fact with us and others. It can be a well-known and publicized fact, or it could be something that may not be quite as popular.
We will tally up all comments by the end of the month and randomly select a winner on March 1st. I will personally contact the winner through Facebook to get their shipping info.
This post will be updated when the winner’s announced.