Dr. Cornel West and Imam Zaid Shakir. The Meaning of Legacy. The demonstrable value of free speech is inherent in programs such as Malcolm & Martin: Implications of Their Legacies for the Future. Some will love it; some will hate it; some will ignore it. In this seminar held in Oakland, Muslim Imam Zaid Shakir and Christian Dr. Cornel West take turns offering their interpretations of the legacies of 1960s African-American icons Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Shakir urges minorities to fight through double standards and put the needs of the community ahead of their own. West says the institution of America is designed to suppress blacks. They are not looking for the next great leader - they urge individuals to simply be great and let history sort things out. They also are not fans of the military, but don t offer their own insights into the global war on terror. Some of their observations are insightful, some may raise ire and most are sure to spark debate. --John Latchem John Latchem (Home Media Magazine). New Islamic Directions ( 2006), DVD, English, Run Time: 180 minutes.
It would be difficult to assemble any narrative of America during the 1960s without mentioning both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr....At the same time, it is easy to divorce Malcolm and King from the much larger movements that they were a part of and the social realities they fought to change. It was with hesitation, then, that Imam Zaid Shakir - an accomplished Muslim scholar from Zaytuna Institute in California - began a recent discussion of the two at a public talk in Oakland last December. Shakir prefaced his remarks by avoiding a definitive talk on the subject of these two, deferring to others more qualified than he to handle their historical significance. Instead he tried to focus on the impact of the two figures from an ecumenical (and quite present-minded) point of view focusing on what lessons could be understood from the internationalist legacies they left behind for Christians and Muslims alike....
The distinguished Princeton professor of philosophy Cornel West took a slightly different tact with the discussion. While West may have been over-the-top when he indicated that he leaves the country every January (effectively belittling the important work that the now late Coretta Scott King did to have her husband memorialized for a National holiday in that month), he did hit on something when he expressed his desire to de-Santa-Clausify both Malcolm and King...West bemoaned how the popular legacies of many major Black figures have been too easily depoliticized and stripped of their radical political trajectories and made into digestible sound bites...West wanted to set Malcolm and King apart from the liberal mythology that has encapsulated them in a past that purportedly left racism back in the 1960s. In great philosophical fashion, West suggested that the two were Socratic to the core, never quenching their lifelong critique of themselves or their society and that they were not bearers of optimism but prisoners of hope for a future that had not yet arrived. --Ian Rocksborough-Smith (Seven Oaks Magazine)