What are the key similarities and differences of Black Americans' social status between Malcolm X and Glory?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that some of the key similarities between both films is that they depict the struggles in being Black in America.  Both films present the narrative of African- Americans as one where there is fundamental tension between their own right to exist and to partake in the American Dream and those who oppose such empowerment.  Both films depict being Black as a struggle whereby a sense of grasping the historical narrative of America and empowerment of one's self must find convergence in order to find some level of personal happiness.

The primary difference would be the time period.  The setting of Glory is the Civil War.  Within this would be a very distinct set of conditions that are not as present in Malcolm X.  The emergence of African- American regimens fighting for the North carries with it implications that are already understood in the setting of Malcolm X.  The discussion of what it means to be free is present in both.  Yet, the Civil War discussions that take place in Glory are about ending slavery, while the discourse present in Malcolm X make the argument about what it means for African- Americans to be a fully integrated part of American society.  In this, the same discussion about human dignity is present, but is featured in different contexts.

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