Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Loving Side Of The Angriest Africans In America

The orignal picture with Sister Betty, Brother Malcolm, Muhammad Ali and the Shabbazz Family.
Jacked from & thanks kzs.

At first I had posted the pic below of Malcom X and Muhammad Ali and the Shabbaz Family and my good friend KZS brought my attention to the fact that this picture had been cropped. There was someone who'd been axed out of this picture that has become the well-known picture. I don't know for what reasons Sister Betty was edited out or who did it or when and where - but reading this from my position in 2009, I can't help but be inclined to think about the dominance of patriarchy in both the public and private realm in Black life. There could obviously be a simple reason as to why Sister Betty was cut out and why this cropped pic became more popular than the original version...I'm on it.

El Hajj Malik El Shabbazz, Muhammad Ali & the Shabazz family
Jacked from


(im)perfect_black ☥☥☥ said...

Perceptive caption of one of my all time favorite pics.

If you look closely at the pic, you can see there is another person seated to the left of senior daughter Attallah (the daughter standing to the left of Malcolm) and just out of the frame . Can you guess who it is?

Betty Shabazz!

Yes. Somehow this cropped picture circulates far more frequently. I read it as a silent rebuttal of patriarchy. Every hero (usually male) has a mother/sister/wife/daughter. Amen.

Love you sis,


KonWomyn said...

Hey Bro
How are you? I had no idea that the pic had been cropped! Thanks alot for pointing that out to me, this is the one I've often seen. Poor Sister Betty! I've found the full pic and will post it.

But why would you see her absence as a 'silent rebuttal'? Wouldn't it be an affirmation of the dominance of patriarchy - in image construction of nationalist politics in both the private and the public, the Sisters still play a secondary role.

...The other thing I wanted to talk to you about regarding El Hajj was about his previous life as Red when he was in Chicago. I read a pretty callous article celebrating him as a gay icon bec he was a rent boy. It was callous bec of the manner in which it was written, bluntly pushing the 'gay agenda' - as in gay rights trump civil rights in the way that White middle class gay folks sometimes do - not causing offence but sometimes the mantra 'Gay is the new Black' among a certain type of middle-class GLBT peops is a kind of homo-centrism (as in ethnocentric) and that ain't cool.

Without any kind of sensitivity basically saying, "Malcom is bisexual get over it" It's not the first time Peter Tatchell has written in this manner this abt Malcom X. I wanted to know your thoughts on the matter.

Much love to you too Bro.


(im)perfect_black ☥☥☥ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
(im)perfect_black ☥☥☥ said...

peace ten!

White homo-centrism indeed.

Yep, I am familiar with both Thatwell articles. In fact, I wrote him a letter last week. Mr. Thatwell's reply was vague. I plan on sending a letter to his editors when I get a moment. I also happen to own the SINGLE book by Perry that he referenced as an authority on the matter.


below is the original letter i wrote to Mr. Thatwell dated 10/27/09:

Dear Mr. Thatchell,

Your Malcolm X article sets an appallingly low standard for journalistic objectivity. You base your claims on a single book? And what evidence do you
have that Perry was a "great admirer and defender" of Malcolm X other than Perry declaring it to be so? An "admirer and defender" would keep private affairs private. Did you bother to check a single Perry reference for yourself as would be standard journalistic practice? Did you actually read the book? Were you aware that Perry claims that Malcolm X firebombed his own house (basically repeating an NOI lie)? If Malcolm firebombed his house then we are forced to believe that Malcolm X also shot himself that night in the Audubon Ballroom less than a week later! You cannot shield shoddy journalism by telling your audience to "get over it." You should either recant the stories or research them properly. But I suspect you don't have the integrity to do that.

(im)perfect_black ☥☥☥ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
(im)perfect_black ☥☥☥ said...

you are correct regarding the cropped photo as a likely example of the subtle workings of patriarchy. that is the straightforward story. what i mean is this: i always look closely at the cropped version. i have yet to see a crop version that totally excises Mama Betty's presence. i mark that marginal presence, still visible to the discerning eye, as a "silent rebuttal."


NB: the second pic you posted is actually a different angle. notice that attallah is facing the camera. here is a link to the uncropped version of your original pic.

KonWomyn said...

Ah you must've studied these pics pretty well kzs. You're quite right - they are two different pictures and maybe Sister Betty was never cut but whoever first used the pic decided to go with one version rather than another.

...On the homocentric Peter Tatchell, I feel you Bro. Well done for making you voice heard! Tatchell's been relying on Perry's argument for some years now and there's another response in The Guardian from a few years ago in which the writer doesn't like the way PT handles the whole matter. Everything in his world is abt being gay and he's a bit 1xtra in the stuff he writes sometimes. He also attempted a citizen's arrest of Prez Mugabe some years back - needless to say it was a failed mission but his attempt to take down an 'anti-gay dictator' has been his claim to fame.

I feel he's always seeking a cheap headline to get people talking at the expense of bringing disrepute to others; in this case Bro Malcom X. I'm sure if Sons of Malcom or Min Farrakhan got wind of this they would have a whole lot to say!

(im)perfect_black ☥☥☥ said...

yeah, tatchell (i misspelled his name every time!) clearly has an agenda.

i am getting a bit senile. i do recall looking for both pics. i think i concluded that the two pics now on your blog are the ones that are circulated widely. but the question still stands because the pic that includes betty is hardly ever posted. kzs

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