Global Politics & Cultures (formerly Independent Thought & Freedom)
Episode 153

The Highly Flawed Biography of Malcolm X w/ Jared Ball

Kirk Meighoo published on

Catch the full interview here at
or on Megaphone here:

This is an excerpt from an interview which is part of a Special Series on Malcolm X and Black Nationalism on the New Books Network. 

In this series, we delve into the background of Malcolm X's action and thought in the context of Black Nationalism, correcting the fundamentally mistaken notion that Malcolm X was a civil rights leader. He certainly did not see himself in that way, and explicitly argued otherwise. This helps us place the Afro-American struggle in its dimensions beyond the current American nation-state, including the Black Atlantic, and beyond.

In this episode, my guest is Jared Ball, co-editor of A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable's Malcolm X (Black Classic Press, 2012).

A Lie of Reinvention is a response to Manning Marable’s biography of Malcolm X, A Life of Reinvention. Marable’s book was controversially acclaimed by some as his magnum opus. At the same time, it was denounced and debated by others as a worthless read full of conjecture, errors, and without any new factual content. In this collection of critical essays, editors Jared Ball and Todd Steven Burroughs lead a group of established and emerging Black scholars and activists who take a clear stance in this controversy: Marable’s biography is at best flawed and at worst a major setback in American history, African American studies, and scholarship on the life of Malcolm X.



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