By William David Hart (auth.)
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Extra info for Black Religion: Malcolm X, Julius Lester, and Jan Willis
He said that Ella could not believe how big an atheist he had become: I believed that a man should do anything that he was slick enough, or bad and bold enough, to do and that a woman was nothing but another commodity. Every word I spoke was hip or profane. I would bet that my working vocabulary wasn’t two hundred words. 50 Now, when I try to separate that first year-plus that I spent at Charlestown, it runs all together in a memory of nutmeg and other semi-drugs, of cursing guards, throwing things out of my cell, balking in the lines, dropping my tray in the dining hall, refusing to answer my number— claiming I forgot it—and things like that.
Christian virtues lie. DeCaro takes Malcolm’s anxiety over the nature and existence of god, evidenced by his profane outbursts before Bimbi, as giving the lie to Malcolm’s atheistic self-description. Presumably, a genuine atheist is resolute, emotionally undivided and has no need to fight with god. Were this true, we would not be able to account for philosophical atheists who spill considerable ink questioning the existence, power, and moral attributes of god. Their compulsion to analyze in minute detail the nonexistence of god or question his attributes betrays its own anxieties.
I marry white culture, white beauty, white whiteness. When my restless hands caress those white breasts, they grasp white civilization and dignity and make them mine. Frantz Fanon36 One of the curious aspects of the Autobiography is Malcolm’s obsession with white women, an obsession that he displaces quite frequently onto others. Malcolm loved white women or, rather, what they represented. With white women he experienced a kind of metamorphosis: the ugly, black caterpillar became a beautiful, white butterf ly; a crawling worm took f light.