Anyone who has seen Roots can identify with the elements of family and sacrifice. Alex Haley’s family’s journey throughout history is both compelling and heartbreaking. I was old enough to remember watching the second time the original series aired nationwide, and as difficult as it was to watch the horrors of slavery, the story needed to be told. The story was further expanded, in Roots: The Next Generations, as we found out more about the author himself.
We found about his hardship of growing up without a mother to a father whose job was paramount to his family. We also found about the struggles he endured in the military and his eventual discovery of his calling as a writer. What I found most compelling in that miniseries is his interview with Malcolm X for Playboy and subsequent agreement to write his autobiography. In the third issue of Malcolm X: Made In America, Wayne Muhammad dives into that endearing partnership, which would lead to a book that would change lives for years.
We find Malcolm back in Manhattan, answering questions after a sermon about his philosophy on the direction black people in America must take, a sharp change from what other leaders of the time had been spouting., a new attitude that gains him followers. We also find FBI Agent, O’Neill, and his informant, Othello, discussing how they can undermine his efforts, a pursuit that has failed so far. We also meet Haley, who has repeatedly tried to interview Malcolm, whose justified paranoia, loosens enough for Alex to peer in. By the issue’s end, Malcolm realizes his story is bigger than he would ever be while alive, as its impact can change black lives around the world.
Overall, an issue in this very story that shows the complexities of a man whose light was more brilliant than he would ever know. The story by Muhammad is formidable and vast. The art by the creative team is astonishing. Altogether, a chapter in this important hero’s journey which shows how human he really was.
Story: Wayne Muhammad
Art: Wayne Muhammad, Wayne Powell, Lee Townsend, Martin Griffiths, Benjamin Wachenji, and Comicraft
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy