Malcolm X at Oxford Union: Racial Politics in a Global Era by Saladin Ambar
Series: Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
In 1964 Malcolm X was invited to debate at the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University. The topic of debate that evening was the infamous phrase from Barry Goldwater's 1964 Republican Convention speech:"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." At a time when Malcolm was traveling widely and advocating on behalf of blacks in America and other nations, his thirty minute speech at the Oxford Union stands out as one of the great addresses of the civil rights era.
Delivered just months before his assassination, the speech followed a period in which Malcolm had traveled throughout Africa and much of the Muslim world. The journey broadened his political thought to encompass decolonization, the revolutions underway in the developing world, and the relationship between American blacks and non-white populations across the globe-including England.
Facing off against debaters in one of world's most elite institutions, he delivered a revolutionary message that tackled a staggering array of issues: the nature of national identity; US foreign policy in the developing world; racial politics at home; the experiences of black immigrants in England; and the nature of power in the contemporary world. It represents a moment when his thought had advanced to its furthest point, shedding the parochial concerns of previous years for an increasingly global and humanist approach to ushering in social change.
Set to publish near the fiftieth anniversary of his death, Malcolm X at Oxford Union will reshape our understanding not only of the man himself, but world politics both then and now.
Malcolm X at Oxford Union
Racial Politics in a Global Era
Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities
The first book to place the Oxford Address in the canon of great civil rights speeches of the 20th Century
Makes the case that Malcolm X was seeking to organize a black human rights movement not only in America, the Middle East, or Africa, but in cities such as Paris, London, and Amsterdam as well
Shows Malcolm X moving beyond Black Nationalism, while at the same time rejecting the notion of 'color-blindness'
Makes the case that the racial, religious, and political difficulties associated with immigration in both Europe and the United States today owe their origins to the time of Malcolm X's address; and some of the more difficult solutions to those challenges can be found in that speech at Oxford
Saladin Ambar writes and teaches about American politics and society at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. He is the author of Malcolm X at Oxford Union: Racial Politics in a Global Era (Oxford University Press) and How Governors Built the Modern American Presidency (University of Pennsylvania Press). His first work of historical fiction ("The Frenchman and the Stranger") has just appeared in Seattle's Monarch Review. He is currently researching for a book on the political life and thought of former New York Governor, Mario Cuomo. All other times he is the father of 6 year-old triplets, who are fairly disinterested in all of the above.
You can follow his blog on the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/saladin-ambar/