Why Is American History X Called American History X?

American History X is a critically acclaimed movie that was released in 1998. The movie, directed by Tony Kaye, tells the story of a former neo-nazi who tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same path of hate and violence.

The title of the movie, American History X, is significant and has several meanings. In this article, we will explore why the movie is called American History X.

The Meaning Behind ‘X’

The first thing that comes to mind when we see the letter ‘X’ is its association with the word ‘extreme’. However, in the context of American History X, ‘X’ has a more profound meaning.

The letter ‘X’ represents an unknown variable in mathematics. It signifies something that cannot be defined or quantified. In the context of the movie, ‘X’ represents an unknown history of America that is hidden from view.

The Significance of American History

American history has been shaped by many events and people that have left their mark on society. However, some parts of this history have been ignored or overlooked due to their unpleasant nature. American History X sheds light on one such aspect – white supremacy and racism in America.

Subheader: Racism in America

Racism has been a part of American history since its inception. From slavery to segregation to discrimination, America has struggled with issues related to race for centuries. In American History X, we see how racism can lead to hate and violence and destroy lives.

Subheader: White Supremacy

White Supremacy is a belief system that promotes white superiority over other races. It advocates for racial segregation and discrimination against non-white people. In American History X, we see how this ideology can lead to radicalization and extreme violence.

American History as a Subject

American history is a subject that is taught in schools and universities across the country. However, the way it is taught and perceived varies greatly. American History X challenges the traditional narrative of American history and presents a different perspective.

Subheader: The Dark Side of American History

American History X shows us the dark side of American history that is often ignored or overlooked. It sheds light on issues that are uncomfortable to talk about but are essential to understanding the present.

Subheader: The Importance of Understanding History

Understanding history is crucial because it helps us learn from our mistakes and prevent them from happening again. American History X serves as a reminder that we need to confront our past to create a better future.


In conclusion, American History X is called American History X because it represents an unknown variable in America’s history – the hidden aspects of racism and white supremacy. The movie challenges the traditional narrative of American history and presents a different perspective that highlights the importance of understanding our past to create a better future.