"TO PROTECT THE REALITY OF MALCOLM'S LIFE, BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY WAY WE WILL PROTECT THE REALITY OF OUR OWN": LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF MALCOLM X AS IDEOLOGY, ONE OF ONLY 200 COPIES SIGNED BY AMIRI BARAKA
(LEE, Spike) BARAKA, Amiri. Malcolm X as Ideology. Candia, New Hampshire: John LeBow, 2008. Slim octavo, original pictorial wrappers, original string stitching. $350.
Signed limited first edition of Baraka's very elusive work, one of only 200 copies, an unnumbered copy signed by Baraka—the controversial award-winning "poet and playwright of pulsating rage"—here targeting Spike Lee's film, Malcolm X, containing color frontispiece collage by artist Theodore Harris.
Baraka, who died in 2014, "was famous as one of the major forces in the Black Arts movement… [and] as a political firebrand… a poet and playwright of pulsating rage, whose long illumination of the Black experience in America was called incandescent in some quarters and incendiary in others" (New York Times). In this work, Baraka especially aims his rage at director Spike Lee's 1992 film, Malcolm X. Baraka had first publicly opposed plans for the film well before it began production, urging "resistance to Lee's 'exploitation film' and the negative effects Baraka claimed it could have on the African-American community" (Christian Science Monitor). Here Baraka expands on that initial opposition, detailing his objection to any film or work that evades or lessens the complexity of Malcolm X's struggle. "Part of our cultural revolution," he writes, "must be to protect the reality of Malcolm's life, because that is the only way we will protect the reality of our own… that is why we are in contention about Malcolm's life and image and history." Number 3 in the Razor Series. This is an unnumbered copy signed on the limitation page by Baraka: one of a limited edition of 200 copies containing 176 for public sale, of which 150 were signed and numbered, along with 26 copies in boards.
A fine copy.