Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mokhiber, James

Second Advisor

Krochmal, Max

Third Advisor

Mitchell, Mary

Fourth Advisor

Dungy, Kathryn


Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little and died el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, left an indelible mark on the American consciousness. Between 1952 and 1964, Malcolm X earned renown as a minister for the Nation of Islam under the guidance of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The first film appearance of Malcolm X himself was in the 1959 documentary The Hate That Hate Produced, a film that sent both Malcolm and the Nation of Islam onto the national, and eventually international, stage. The next attempt to immortalize the man in film would be after his death, in 1972’s Malcolm X, a documentary based on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The efforts of that film would bleed directly into 1992’s Malcolm X, a dramatization of the same autobiography. For nearly thirty years there was a dearth of films about the man until 2020’s One Night in Miami, a fictionalization of a real night experienced by Malcolm X. By looking at the historical memory of Malcolm X through the framework of film; including what information the filmmakers used to create their works, what messages they portray through cinematic language and critical and audience reviews; this work seeks to trace the shifting film memory of Malcolm X.


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