Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Face to Face
Al Jazeera (2018)
This documentary compares and contrasts the anti-racism campaigns of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X during the 1960s. It combines commentary from Black scholars and civil rights activists with vintage footage of the two leaders.
Malcolm was highly critical of King for strategies he claimed sought to win the support of white people. Malcolm frequently asked to debate him though King always refused. Malcolm opposed non-violence as a strategy, maintaining Blacks had a right to defend themselves when cops beat them up. He also disagreed with King’s focus on integration and voting rights. He believed asking Black people to trust whites was dangerous and alienated them from deep-seated feelings about the way whites treated them. Likewise he believed voting was useless so long as whites were determined to disempower Black people.
Unlike King, a Baptist preacher, Malcolm also rejected Christianity (“the religion of slavery”) were he became second in command at the Nation of Islam.
It was largely under Malcolm’s influence that African Americans became proud to be Black, and “Negroes” began referring to themselves as Black.
The two men met only briefly in 1964 at a congressional hearing on Lyndon Johnson’s Civil Rights Act.
Following Malcolm X’s 1965 assassination, King seemed to become much more radical, as he took up Black poverty and the Vietnam War as key issues.
Granny Fight Club
Granny Fight Club is an RT documentary about the self defense program in Korogocho Kenya that teaches elderly women to fend off prospective rapists.
The deliberate rape of elderly women is an increasing problem in Kenyan slums – largely due to the prevailing myth that raping a grandmother will cure a younger man of AIDS.
The women are taught a strategy that relies mainly on self-confidence and a loud aggressive voice. However they also practice delivering blows to vulnerable areas of a man’s body.
Directed by Jeanny Gering (2014)
Power is a disturbing documentary about a South African martial arts expert Debi Stevens and her efforts to fight India’s rape culture by teaching Indian girls to defend themselves. The film was produced following the 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23 year old physiotherapy intern on a Delhi bus.
In addition to showing excerpts from some of Stevens’s classes, Power provides disturbing insights into a cultural framework that makes it “okay” for 75% of India’s urban males population to sexually assault women. As in the Middle East, India’s extremely patriarchal and misogynist culture, combined with a large population of permanently unemployed males seems to set the stage for this kind of violence against women.
I found this film particularly instructive in view of recent publicity about migrants committing group sexual assaults in Cologne – in a variant of the Arab rape game Taharrush (see It’s an Arab rape game called Tarrarush).
Jyoti Singh‘s attackers were neither Arab nor Muslim but Hindu.