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This is a discussion of the Movie titled "Malcom X" which was directed by Spike Lee and produced in Burbank: Warner Home Video. The movie has highlighted some aspects of initiation and religion and how they affected Malcom the main character in the movie.
Initiation therefore, is a ceremony marking the end of one stage and the beginning of another stage, and completion of all these stages an individual will be fully accepted into a certain community or group the individual wasn't accepted or belonged to earlier. This is as a result of the individuals' exceptional performance to the community/ group, this result to the individuals being exposed to the groups /community deep secrets such as the customary beliefs and practices as a way of introducing the individual into the community /group, these will help the individual assume his/ her new role in the community /group. Initiation also means the transformation or rebirth from an old role to a new role, it is noted that the person who is conducting "the initiator" should be possessing lots of powers that will be transferred to the new member being initiated.
Malcom X will be remembered for being a human rights and a liberation activists leader in the history of the black American history, Malcom together with other activist like Martin Luther King Junior were some of the Africans Americans who advocated for rapid change in America, a change that would see the equal treatment of the Africans by the whites, as seen in the movie "The Rebirth of Malcom X" Malcom is seen as a radical leader that who was against the ways the African-Americans were being treated by the white Americans, he was advocating for the change immediately after joining the group known as the "Nation of Islam" that was under the directorship of Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
The movement advocated against the ill treatment that the African-Americans received from the white-Americans, this is seen from several speeches he delivered in the film when he said that "black people were the original people of the world that were created by God, and that white people were a race of devils who were created by an evil scientist named Yakub." This indicated that Malcom was in a community that had its own views on religion.
Different theorists have in the past evaluated the different stages that are necessary for an individual to become associated with a particular group, some theories like British theorist Victor Turner stated as the major stages during an initiation process includes separation, liminality and Reaggregation.
These stages as explained by Mr. Turner well experienced in the movie "The Rebirth of Malcom X" and these are shown when Malcom X the main character in the movie decided to reform from being a man that used to be bad in the society to the joining a group known as "Nation of Islam", a groups that was opposed to the ways that the White -Americans were treating the African -Americans. It is evidently clear from the movie that Malcom hated the White -Americans this is from the previous interactions that he had received from them; the movie shows how the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) threatened his family because his fathers activism roles threatened there activities to the extent of evacuating them from there house that was burnt down to ashes forcing there family to move to another state.
Mr. Turner explains that the initiation is divided in three stages which include separation, liminality and Reaggregation stages. Separation stage is the stage were an individual is removed from the normal social way of living to a more complex stage, therefore in this stage the individual will acquire a new social status which is different from what he /she had in the past. In the movie "The Rebirth of Malcom X" Malcom has undergone several separation stages the first was immediately after the death of his father Earl Little, who was murdered and thrown in a railway line to prove that he committed suicide, another case was when he was discouraged by his teachers that he can't become a lawyer in a country that was governed by the whites no mater how determined he was, this resulted to Malcom changing his attitude to the whites.
Liminality being the second stage of rite of passage according to Turner; is a stage where an individual is physically, consciously or unconsciously involved the second stage of the initiations process, this is when the individual is in the height of the initiation process in the movie "The Rebirth of Malcom X" Malcom and the entire black Americans were in the mix as they were facing hostile treatment from the whites who were running the country, The "Nation of Islam" was an organization that advocated for the rights of the African-Africans and the African-American relied on the organization to express there views.
The last stage of the initiation process according to Turner is the Reaggregation stage; this is the conceptualization the previous stages thus indicating that the individual has completely transformed, thus in this stage the individual will have to show that he is completely transformed and has stopped practicing his/ her previous actions one was initially practicing, in the movie Malcom has completely transformed becoming a member of the "Nation of Islam" who doesn't smock and eating pork, he also changed his perception on religion and began praying , this was after he received advise from the founder of the of the group Elijah Muhammad.
Abraham Maslow theory called the hierarchy of needs, this is where an individual needs changes according to an individuals achievements in the society, in the theory Maslow explained human needs are represented in pyramid shape which starts from the bottom section of the pyramid which is mostly the bigger potion of the pyramid which contains the basic needs such as food and water and sex, the second section contains the safety needs which composes of security, order, and stability, according to Maslow, when an individual achievements in the society increases, the individual ascends the pyramid to the extent of reaching a stage of self actualization, which isn't achieved by many individuals.
Malcom Little in the movie "The Rebirth of Malcom X" was hoping for a better American, which provides equal opportunity that was given to each individual who is a citizen of the country regardless of the individuals race, religion or cultural backgrounds, this was one of the key reasons that made him join the "Nation of Islam" as it was an organization that would provide each citizens have the opportunity to air there sentiments freely, in the movie the government never allowed the Blacks to take courses that would provide competition to the whites thus making the blacks take courses that will require them to use energy rather than skills.
The movie also shows us how Malcom reached to the peek of the Maslow's hierarchy of needs, this is when he was able to climb up the hierarchy of needs pyramid to achieving all the basic needs to the highest stages in the pyramid that is the self actualization, in the movie Malcom became a wealthy man who owned property that he never thought he would acquire in the country that was dominated with the whites, this gave the blacks the opportunity to realize there dreams without fearing the obstacles.