To think about how the ideas articulated in “The Fact of Blackness,” the fifth chapter in Frantz Fanon’s book Black Skin, White Masks, connect to the Malcolm X interview, consider the ways in which Malcolm X’s discussion of Black identity and the United States echoes some of Fanon’s ideas about Blackness. For Fanon, white people, with their regular abuse and denigration, impose an identity on Black people. They turn them into inferior objects. They create a derisive, lethal societal position for them.
Malcolm X, too, addresses the way in which Black identity can be modified by white people. In the interview, Malcolm X states that Black people are not violent. They would not attack white people if white people did not attack them. In a way, Malcolm X, like Fanon, identifies how white people shape the Black experience. White people’s oppression of Black people provokes them to strike back, which can lead to myriad problematic and stereotypical representations and beliefs.
To connect Malcolm X’s interview to Fred Moten's essay “The Case of Blackness,” think about how Malcolm X’s skepticism of the Supreme Court and America’s judiciary system plays into Moten’s idea of “fugitive movement.” This is a key term for Moten. It demonstrates his belief that Black people are continually shifting in and out of the framework of white society. Malcolm X’s attempt to grapple with desegregation and Black separatism arguably illuminates the elusive movement that Moten describes.
Finally, to bring in Richard Dyer’s book The Matter of Images, talk about the image that Malcolm X presents. While Malcolm X is dealing with serious issues that have a life-or-death impact on people, the interview is, nonetheless, media. It’s a video that one can watch on YouTube the way that they’d watch a movie trailer, sports highlights, or a makeup tutorial. With that said, try to think about Malcolm X’s self-presentation. Consider how his glasses, his suit, his calm, even manner of speaking all help to create a compelling character.