Hisham Aidi traces how Malcolm X—and the black freedom movement, more broadly— have become central to Muslim youth consciousness today. He traces how today, as during the early 1960s, various governments—the United States, Britain, Iran, and Saudia Arabia—have been trying to instrumentalize the black leader’s message and image for “deradicalization” purposes. This article traces US government’s efforts to use African American culture and history for diplomatic aims during the Cold War and the War on Terror. The essay also addresses the controversy sparked by the publication of Manning Marable’s biography of Malcolm X, A Life of Reinvention (2011).

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