Final: Critiques of Lee’s Malcolm X

I thought Malcolm X was fantastic. While researching the joint’s critical reception, I was pleased to discover that many critics had similar reactions. Even those with serious qualms with the film generally seemed pretty damned pleased that a major Hollywood studio was producing and financing a movie commemorating the life of Malcolm X. One reviewer wrote, “That this man is the subject of the first big budget Hollywood movie on the life of a black historical figure is, in and of itself, nothing short of a coup” (Yousman 2014).

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Doing the Right Thing for Whom?


The 1992 LA riots was a time of empowerment for black Americans fighting for the acquittals of police officers who excessively beat motorist Rodney King. At the same time, this event was also an act of silencing, violence, and victimization for another group: Korean Americans. Spike Lee represented the conflicts of the 1992 Rodney King riots in his film Do the Right Thing by representing the destruction of property and portraying the inter-racial conflicts that arose as a result of the riots.

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