What do Malcolm X and Martin Luther King have to do with Science Fiction? Well, that is an odd question whose key answer is X-Men. Upstairs of a trendy café in Brixton, once a week, Black History courses are taught. Last themes exposed by Black History Studies movement: Science Fiction VS Black Fact. Among all more or less proven parallels made by Hakim ‘The film Doctor’ & Dr Lez Henry, one caught our attention: What if X-Men was inspired by American Civil Rights movement?
Little X-Men booster shot
The X-Men fight for peace and equality between normal humans and mutants in a world where anti mutant bigotry is fierce and widespread. Mutants have two emblematic leaders Professor X and his archenemy Magneto. They have opposite views and philosophy regarding the relationship between mutants and humans. While Professor X works towards peace and understanding between, Magneto views humans as a threat and believes in taking an aggressive approach against them.
In fact, in an April 2011 LA Times issue, the stars of ‘X-Men First Class’ were referencing the Martin and Malcolm duality. In the first movie, Magneto quotes Malcolm X with the line ‘By any means necessary.’ The X-Men’s purpose is sometimes referred to as achieving ‘Xavier’s dream’, perhaps a reference to King’s historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
Chris Claremont who continued Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s job at the X-Men’s helm for 17 years, came of age in the Civil Rights and later Black Power Era. There seem to be racial inscriptions in his writings. Those made the Malcolm and Martin analogy become really popular.