Alex Haley—Although hardly mentioned in the proper text ofThe Autobiography of Mal- colm X. Malcolm rejects Reginald for the Nation. gives birth to six of his. The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the result of a collaboration between Malcolm X and journalist Alex Haley. Over a period of several years, Malcolm X told. The Autobiography of Malcolm X as Told to Alex Haley is a biography of one of the most influential civil rights activist in 60's America. The book.
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The autobiograhy of Malcolm X / with the assistance of Alex Haley; introduction Black Muslims—Biography. fore leaving, she told me to write to her regularly. Ebook download any format The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley Unlimited Free E-Book Download now. Julie Gabriel's insightful green beauty tips into practice, they are also being. Appendix B: Toxic Cosmetic Ingred The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told.
On February 21, , three audience members at a lecture at Harlems Audubon Ballroom, which Malcolm has been renting to use for his new organization, shoot and kill Malcolm X. Though he experiences some freedom, the nature of these activities shows that white society still considers him an inferior. His mother struggled since a single woman could not take care of all eight children. The sheikh ends with a description of the Islamic view of life after the Day of Judgment. Once school bells caused your heart to quake As teachers circled each mistake. He has an ability to remember long lists of numbers.
This is the Malcolm purely committed to the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X is rated the second most sought-after lecturer by universities. Malcolm experiences especially intense emotions when he speaks at Harvard. Malcolm has heard that other members of the Nation also disapprove of his activities. Malcolm makes frequent appearances at the best universities. He has always noticed the increasingly chilly receptions he receives at the headquarters in Chicago.
As Malcolm himself expresses at the end of the book. People frequently accuse him of taking over the organization. By this time. Once Malcolm accepts his estrangement from the Nation of Islam.
He takes stock of his celebrity and decides to found his own organization in Harlem. Before things really get going. Malcolm envisions the organization as less exclusive and more proactive than the Nation of Islam. Summary and Analysis 24 Elijah Muhammad faces a paternity suit from two temple secretaries he has had affairs with. To distance the Nation from such a controversial stance.
When President John F. To distance himself from the Nation of Islam and absorb the shock of the divorce. Malcolm X is deeply shocked and amazed that he has been betrayed by Elijah Muhammad. Having been cut off from his sole source of income. This is a welcome vacation. Malcolm X breaks an order by Elijah Muhammad that no minister comment. Kennedy is assassinated. The sight of Clay. Malcolm decides that it is time for him to make his pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca.
Malcolm soon realizes.
Malcolm accepts this and assumes that a confession. Malcolm asks Ella for money for the trip. Muhammad silences Malcolm for a ninety-day period. Malcolm pretends that he does not know about the allegations. To deal with the issue.
Muhammad compares himself to the great men of scripture. What draws him to an analogy at odds with these feelings? How do his views of women reconcile with his views of racial equality?
And how entirely do we trust his presentation of his views? Malcolm X is not the only black civil rights leader apparently guilty of chauvinism. Summary and Analysis 25 Analysis More than once.
Malcolm spends another layover in Cairo. And clearly. When Malcolm applies for a Hajj visa. He has very little good to say about women and disclaims any interest in romantic love.
Shawarbi readily writes Malcolm a letter of approval and passes on a book about Islam sent to Malcolm by an author in Saudi Arabia. Malcolm X likens his falling out with Elijah Muhammad to the end of a romantic relationship. Malcolm leaves the country quietly. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. At the time of the Civil Rights Movement.
Shawarbi also gives Malcolm the telephone number of his son. Malcolm is impressed by the friendliness of storeowners. This metaphor. Many women believed this as strongly as the men. In Frankfurt.
Malcolm avoids any derisive words about his former mentor. He retreats to a crowded airport dormitory. Malcolm writes many letters home. Whenever he is asked why he split from Elijah Muhammad.
The crowds overwhelm him.
Before Malcolm returns to the United States. Azzam brings Malcolm to the Jedda Palace Hotel. From Jedda.
On two occasions. Malcolm meets Prince Faisal himself. He sees in Islam a solution. Malcolm participates in this ritual himself. People hold dinners in his honor. At each stop. At the end of the Hajj. Summary and Analysis 26 level of industrialization. He also runs seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa and ascends Mount Arafat.
Malcolm says he has seen true Islam now. Having met white people on this trip who are untainted by racism. All of the time he feels very strongly the unity of the Islamic world and its colorblindness under Allah. Malcolm remembers that he has the telephone number of Omar Azzam. Malcolm practices the prayer rituals.
Malcolm describes his amazement at Mecca as a kind of numbness. From now on Malcolm travels in style. Malcolm holds meetings of his new organization. Analysis The Autobiography of Malcolm X ends with Malcolm making nearly as great a change as the one he underwent in prison. That Malcolm X became more moderate and that King became more radical suggests the partial reconciliation between them might have become complete had they both lived.
Malcolm will accept white help and white interest now. During his pilgrimage to Mecca. In Harlem. The American presidential election occurs while he is away.
The assassination of each was tragic not only unto itself. Summary and Analysis 27 In Ghana. Malcolm returns for another eighteen weeks to Africa and the Middle East. Malcolm witnesses what seems to be the colorblindness of the Islamic world. King originally used non. In the end. He predicts for himself a violent death. The failure of the press to acknowledge his new outlook frustrates Malcolm. In New York. Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson.
When he has untainted encounters with fair-complexioned Muslims. DuBois entertains him. In May. After some time in the States. The older King contemplated socialism as a tool to restructure the American economy. Three suspects. On February It takes a long time for Haley to win the trust of Malcolm. His later work. Similarities of tone. Malcolm is gunned down by three audience members at a lecture at the Audubon Ballroom. Haley gets them both to agree to the project. The sheikh ends with a description of the Islamic view of life after the Day of Judgment.
At the beginning Malcolm is cautious and punctilious about the contracts. Having won the trust of Malcolm and Elijah Muhammad with the earlier pieces. He writes two articles on Malcolm X and one on Elijah Muhammad before a publisher proposes to Haley the idea of a biography. Malcolm opens up. Although some critics object to overlook a breach of academic integrity simply because the cause is progressive.
Roots led to two lawsuits over alleged plagiarism. Summary and Analysis 29 sham. Such claims and counterclaims should not divert attention from a straight reading of the text. WhetherThe Autobiography was largely re-written by a white editor or simply touched up. Write an imaginary dialogue between Malcolm X. Malcolm adopts the party line that all whites are devils.
By the time Malcolm reaches prison. All rights reserved.. From this moment of conversion until his falling out with the Nation of Islam. Once he leaves Boston. From childhood. In responding to this question. Assuming that Malcolm was as honest as possible.
Malcolm treats white people as they have always treated him: When Malcolm moves to Boston. Malcolm meets unprejudiced Muslims of fair complexion. If Malcolm X had lived to see the development of Muslim Mosque.
When Malcolm reviews the white people he has known. Can this be reconciled with his legacy as a leader? On his trip to Mecca. Study Questions 31 6. Who runs the detention home Malcolm is placed in? A lawyer 5. Michigan D. He was a Muslim 3. The Swerlins C. He was spreading the ideas of Marcus Garvey D. A preacher D. He slept with a white woman C. The Lyons D. In eighth grade. The Fords 4. West Indian Archie C. Shorty D. He owed them money B. Wisconsin C.
Sammy the Pimp B. A teacher C. Why did white people murder Earl Little? Where was Malcolm X born? Nebraska B.
A doctor B. Massachusetts 2. The Gohannases B. Who is raising Laura? Lansing Slim B. He starts dating a white woman C. He plans on selling reefers to traveling musicians Her mother C. The Savoy Ballroom B. Her grandmother 8. He hopes to see New York B. He is determined to earn the respect of white people D. Little the Pimp C.
The Swerlins B. The Roseland State Ballroom C. He wants to avoid the draft C. Drug dealer B. Shoeshine boy at the Savoy Ballroom D. She is too wild B. Ella prohibits it 9. The Apollo Theater 7. Detroit Red D. Review and Resources 33 6. Why does Malcolm leave Laura? Pimp Her half-sister D. Ella C.
Satan C. Review and Resources 34 Who converts Malcolm to Islam? New York C. Elijah Muhammad B.
Sleeping with his girlfriend C. Sell reefers on the railroad C. Philbert D. Reginald By gambling C. What does West Indian Archie accuse Malcolm of? Sell through the mail Violating the codes of the Nation of Islam By attending college Move his business down a few blocks B. Little When he is released from prison. Detroit D. Through burglary D. Change his hours D. By dealing drugs B. Boston B.
Selling bad dope B. At Charlestown State Prison. To avoid the narcotics squad. Back in Boston. Embezzled funds B. A jazz singer The founder of the Boston temple D. Broken the prohibition on alcohol D. In a vision B.
After breaking with the Nation of Islam. At a meeting in Chicago Review and Resources 35 What is Malcolm shocked to learn that Elijah Muhammad has done?
Spoken to the white media A teacher at the New York temple D. A white woman B. At a rally in New York D. A minister at the Boston temple C. The assistant minister at the Detroit temple B. The head minister of the New York temple Committed adultery C. Malcolm is mistaken for whom? He will die a violent death D. Muhammad Ali B. On his pilgrimage to Mecca. Review and Resources 36 Sonny Liston People will remember him for his change in viewpoint C. Alex Haley C. He will live to a ripe old age B.
Review and Resources 37 Answer Key: New York: Perseus Books Group. Malcolm soon develops a system of beliefs that has Africa at its center. From reputable sources he learns that the first men and the great early civilizations were African, that the pharaohs were Africans, and that the great Western storyteller Aesop was an African. The horror of slavery and the bold nineteenth-century revolts of Nat Turner and John Brown impact him deeply.
Studying the anti-British resistance of India and China, he also discovers that colonial exploitation, and opposition to it, was not limited to Africa. The prisons debate program introduces Malcolm to public speaking. He almost always finds a way to work the idea of race into his arguments, whether they are about military service or Shakespeare. Debate teaches him rhetorical skills he later uses to earn converts to the Nation of Islam.
He is thrilled by his success in making a white minister publicly admit that Jesus was not white. He resolves to devote the rest of his life to telling the white man about himself or to die trying. Soon, Reginald is suspended from the Nation of Islam for sleeping with a secretary. After Elijah Muhammad appears to Malcolm in a silent vision, Malcolm disowns Reginald and for the first time feels a stronger bond to his faith than to his family. Reginald goes insane, and Malcolm comes to believe that Allah is punishing Reginald for his sins.
Malcolm continues to seek converts to Islam among his fellow prisoners. The younger Malcolm views his life in terms of absolute good and evil. Accordingly, he uses strongly opposing terms, such as white and black and good and bad, in his descriptions. He sees the world according to these rigid pairs, and thus too simply. The language he uses to interpret his life contains only these sorts of absolute terms, and he ignores the parts of his previous life that do not fit with the principles he has accepted from Elijah Muhammad.
For example, he has known many white people, including his foster parents, his Jewish former boss, and his lover Sophia, who have treated him decently. But because Malcolm longs for moral clarity, he associates all that is good, original, and pure with the term black and all that is evil, derivative, and tainted with the term white.
While it is necessary for Malcolm to combat racist stereotypes of blacks, the manner in which he does so is problematic, because it leads to racist stereotypes of whites. In reversing the racist association of white with good and black with bad, Malcolm does not help alleviate racism but rather stirs it up in a different direction. The voice that Malcolm uses in telling the story of his youth, on the other hand, shows that he has developed a more complex view of good and evil as an adult.
His mention of the entire spectrum of white people I had ever known illustrates his more mature understanding of his early experiences. The word spectrum denotes a range of things, such as colors, that differ from each other in varying degrees. Malcolms use of this word shows that he has by now abandoned his earlier, simplistic view of the world.
He no longer thinks of people as strictly white, and thus bad, or strictly black, and thus good. He has recognized that within the category of white there is a whole spectrum of individual human personalities to judge. He is able to see that some white people may be bad, while others may be good, just as some black people may be good, while others may be bad. In choosing the word spectrum, the older and wiser Malcolm conveys his understanding that his early attitudes toward race were not consistent with his early life experience.
The antiwhite prejudice that Malcolm adopts upon converting to the Nation of Islam differed from much twentieth-century American prejudice. Unlike prejudices against various ethnic, racial, or political minorities, antiwhite prejudice was not the social norm. Since the end of slavery, whites had accused blacks of taking their jobs, corrupting their schools, and degrading their neighborhoods.
Whites fear of blacks was a major factor in the creation of racist laws and segregation. Similarly, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in , many Americans became. Finally, in the s, widespread paranoia about suspected communists produced a rash of trials and executions known as McCarthyism. However, Elijah Muhammads rhetoric of blue-eyed devils and original people is different from prejudice against blacks, Japanese, and suspected communists.
The Nation of Islam was the movement of a separatist minority with a very small following. In contrast, racism against blacks, anti-Japanese hysteria, and McCarthyism were mainstream movements attracting millions of Americans and encompassing many institutions, both private and public.
Savior Yes! Yes, that raping, red-headed devil was my grandfather! I hate every drop of the rapists blood thats in me! Malcolm buys a wristwatch, a suitcase, and a pair of eyeglasses. In Detroit, Malcolm instantly appreciates the warmth and order of Wilfreds strictly Muslim household.
The solidarity and austerity of his first Nation of Islam temple meeting excites Malcolm. In Chicago Elijah Muhammad publicly likens Malcolm to the biblical figure Job, inviting everyone to watch the strength of Malcolms faith now that the safety of prison is gone and he is back out among the temptations of the real world.
At dinner that night, Malcolm asks Elijah Muhammad about recruitment techniques, as he is eager to work to attract new members in Detroit.
Elijah Muhammad advises Malcolm to court young people. In Detroit Malcolm has little luck at first, persuading only a few neighborhood youth to visit the temple.
Over several months, however, membership triples. During this period, Malcolm replaces his last name with X to represent the unknown African name he would have had if his ancestors not been kidnapped and enslaved. Malcolm begins to speak at temple meetings and gains confidence as an orator. He is surprised, humbled, and flattered when Elijah Muhammad appoints him as the assistant minister at the Detroit temple. Malcolm soon learns Elijah Muhammads life story. Born in Georgia in , Elijah Muhammad was small of stature but bold, especially when it came to issues of race.
He mediated fights between his siblings and was frank but nonconfrontational with white employers. Fard, a peddler and selfproclaimed prophet who converted him to his version of Islam. Death threats from jealous rivals, however, compelled Elijah Muhammad to move himself and his family from city to city for seven years. He spent time in prison, supposedly for draft evasion, although he was in fact too old to serve in the military.
Only in the s did he reclaim his position as the head of the Nation of Islam. SummaryChapter Thirteen: During this time, Malcolm fully develops his rhetorical style. When Malcolm is ready, Elijah Muhammad sends him to Boston to aid in the founding of a temple there. Malcolm visits his old haunts and tries to convert Shorty, who loves white women and pork too much to be persuaded.
Ella is amazed at Malcolm, and although she does not convert, she is happy to see he has changed. Early in the summer of. As in Boston, Malcolm seeks out his old crowd. The lack of response to his initial teachings frustrates Malcolm, but he continues, and the temple grows. Malcolm and his followers develop techniques for drawing blacks from black nationalist rallies and churches that advocate a return to Africa.
Malcolm has so much luck winning over Christians that he refines his speaking style with them in mind, emphasizing Christianitys role in the oppression of blacks. In a woman named Betty joins the New York temple. For ten years, Malcolm has been celibate and fully devoted to his work. He hardly courts Betty, but he approves of her from a distance.
Malcolm introduces Betty to Elijah Muhammad, and then proposes marriage abruptly from a payphone in Detroit. They marry and settle in Queens, New York, and have four children while Malcolm is alive; a fifth child is born after Malcolms death. In , Malcolms half-sister, Ella, converts to the Nation of Islam. The Nation of Islam gets public recognition when police attack one of its members. The Fruit of Islam, the Nations elite youth group, leads a mass demonstration, standing ominously before the precinct house where the bleeding victim is being held and then before the hospital to which Malcolm has demanded the victim be taken.
Malcolm is so busy that the Nation buys him a car to use for his travel between cities. Having taken a vow of poverty, Malcolm has access to the Nations substantial resources but personally owns almost nothing. By , there are sizable temples in Chicago, Detroit, and New York. If Malcolms earlier peaceful surrender to the Boston detective marks the beginning of his prison conversion, then the purchase of these amenities marks the completion of this same conversion as well as the beginning of his career of religious and political authority.
Whereas his initial surrender to the detectives is a passive act of submission, this purchase is an active act of selfpossession. Malcolms statement that without fully knowing it, I was preparing for what my life was about to become shows his instinctive determination.
In picking up the tools of his trade as soon as he is released from prison, Malcolm makes a symbolic commitment to a life of authority and responsibility with the Nation of Islam and beyond. The wristwatch, suitcase, and eyeglasses each symbolize an important aspect of Malcolms career as a Muslim minister and political figure. The wristwatch represents his obsession with efficiently managing his busy daily schedule. He is committed to the people and events of his daily life, not distanced from them as Elijah Muhammad and other religious leaders are.
The suitcase represents Malcolms commitment to a life of constant work and frequent travel in the name of spreading Islam. His travel allows him to interact with other blacks nationwide and other minorities worldwide, and such experiences help him develop a more mature perspective on the struggle against oppression. Malcolms eyeglasses represent his newfound clarity of vision on race in America.
Though the glasses serve the practical purpose of correcting the vision problems Malcolm has developed from years of reading in prison, they also serve the.
His statement that in all my years in the streets, Id been looking at the exploitation that for the first time I really saw and understood shows that his time in prison has made him see the race problem clearly. With his commitment to his message, connection to his people, and understanding of the problems plaguing his people, Malcolm is prepared to launch himself into a new and productive life. In Chapter 12, Savior, both Malcolm and Elijah Muhammad compare Malcolms faith in Islam to Jobs faith in God, each using the biblical parable to make a different point.
As the story goes, Satan challenged God to test Jobs faith by making him suffer through various trials. While Elijah Muhammad uses the story to highlight Malcolms ability to resist the temptations of his former life once released from prison, Malcolm uses the story to draw attention to the trial of his faith that his difficult relationship with Elijah Muhammad creates. Though these comparisons serve different purposes, both point out Malcolms ability to stand behind his ideological convictions and carry on a prolonged struggle against difficult odds.
Malcolms discussion of his relationship with Elijah Muhammad reveals that he sees Elijah Muhammad more as a god than as a human. Elijah Muhammads assertion that Malcolm will remain a faithful Muslim out of prison reciprocates and intensifies Malcolms faith in Elijah Muhammad. Elijah Muhammads confidence inspires years of near-absolute devotion from Malcolm, and Malcolm describes having more faith in Elijah Muhammad than in any other man.
Malcolm foreshadows how this great faith in Elijah actually proves the downfall of their relationship with his statement that I know today that I did believe in him more firmly than he believed in himself. This quote implies that Allahs greatest trial for Malcolm is Elijah Muhammad himself. Although Elijah Muhammad inspires Malcolm to persist in the face of adversity, his own faltering in the face of adversity later becomes an obstacle in their relationship.
A surge of publicity comes in , when a man named C. Both titles enrage Malcolm, who realizes that the media will spin everything for shock value. Soon, mainstream publications, including Life and Time, feature articles about the Nation of Islam.
Malcolm now spends hours a day on the telephone defending the Nation and attacking his interviewers with countercharges, clarifications, and assertions of bias. Increasingly, organizations invite Malcolm to represent Elijah Muhammad on panels and lecture circuits.
In the fall of , Malcolm travels as an emissary to places where leaders are becoming interested in the Nation of Islam project: Egypt, Arabia, Sudan, Nigeria, and Ghana.
Exposed to more radical ideas, he becomes increasingly critical of black civil rights leaders, calling them integration-mad Negroes and Uncle Toms. At first, Elijah Muhammad discourages any disparagement of other black leaders, but when attacks on the Nation become too frequent, he lets Malcolm vent his feelings publicly.
By , the Nation of Islam starts holding mass rallies with Elijah Muhammad as the main attraction. At first the Nation admits no white people to these rallies, but eventually they admit the white press and then anyone with curiosity.
The size and militance of the Nation attracts the attention of the FBI and the police, who begin infiltrating rallies and tapping the telephones of higher-ups, including Malcolm X. Part of this government interest comes from the high proportion of Nation of Islam members who are or were in prison.
Convicts embrace the Nation because their prison experiences have conditioned them both to take an especially grim view of white society and to excel at the discipline and austerity that the codes of the Nation demand. The Nation also succeeds in reforming drug addicts. SummaryChapter Fifteen: Icarus On the recommendation of the aging Elijah Muhammads doctors, the Nation buys Elijah Muhammad a home in Arizona, where he begins to spend most of the year.
Elijah Muhammads geographical distance and diminished health, as well as the growing administrative demands of the Nation, lead Malcolm to make a greater number of decisions without notifying Muhammad. By both the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X are inundated with publicity. Now the second most sought-after university lecturer in America, Malcolm X savors the excitement of the intellectual confrontations that follow his speeches at top universities.
Elijah Muhammad disapproves of the university lecture circuit, while other Muslims frequently accuse Malcolm of trying to take over the Nation of Islam. Malcolm notices that his name is appearing less and less in Muhammad Speaks, the newspaper he himself founded.
He begins turning down publicity opportunities in Life and Newsweek, hoping to reduce Elijah Muhammads jealousy. SummaryChapter Sixteen: Out Malcolms relationship to the Nation of Islam becomes more complex when Elijah Muhammad faces paternity suits from two temple secretaries. At first, Malcolm pretends that he does not know about the allegations and changes his temple teachings to skirt the issue of the moral code.
Eventually, however, he approaches Elijah Muhammad for advice. Elijah Muhammad compares himself to the great men of scripture whose accomplishments outweigh their occasional transgressions. Malcolm accepts this explanation and assumes that Elijah Muhammad will confess and explain himself to the Nation.
Elijah Muhammad does not publicly confess, however. Kennedy is assassinated. Malcolm breaks an order by Elijah Muhammad that no minister comment on the assassination.
He calls the murder in Dallas a case of the chickens coming home to roost, a statement that implies that the murder was somehow justifiable. To distance the Nation from such a controversial stance, Elijah Muhammad silences Malcolm for a ninety-day period.
Malcolm soon realizes, however, that Elijah Muhammads outrage over the Kennedy quote is merely an excuse for the Nation to cast him off, as it has been plotting to do for some time. Malcolm is deeply shocked at Elijah Muhammads betrayal of him, describing it as a sudden divorce after twelve years of beautiful marriage. Malcolm hears rumors of a warrant out for his death, and one of his assistants at the New York temple confesses that the Nation has ordered him to kill Malcolm.
To distance himself from the Nation of Islam and absorb the shock of the symbolic divorce, Malcolm accepts the invitation of boxer Cassius Clay for Malcolm and his family to stay in Florida while Clay prepares for his fight against Sonny Liston. The sight of Clay, who has Islamic leanings, defeating a fighter who is physically stronger through a combination of will, cleverness, and training strengthens Malcolms faith in Allah. Clay announces his Muslim affiliation after the fight, taking the name Muhammad Ali.
Once Malcolm accepts his estrangement from the Nation of Islam, he thinks about how he can continue to serve the political and economic interests of black people. He decides to use his celebrity status to found an organization called Muslim Mosque, Inc.
Malcolm envisions the organization as more inclusive and more active than the Nation of Islam in its pursuit of black political and economic independence. Before things really get going, however, Malcolm decides that it is time for him to make his pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city of Mecca. Cut off from his sole source of income, the Nation, Malcolm asks Ella for money for the trip, and she obliges.
While he does not condone the hustlers life, his comments imply a respect for the hustlers code of ethics. The street rulesbe suspicious, know your enemy, and image is everythingare as well suited to Malcolms outspoken public life as to his petty hustling life.
By never trusting anyone outside his close circle of friends, Malcolm keeps the growing network of mosques across America under his direct control as he expands the. His occasional failure to follow these rules illustrates how important they are.
Malcolm puts his faith in Elijah Muhammad after the scandal breaks that Elijah Muhammad slept with his secretaries, and Elijah Muhammad repays Malcolm by silencing him, exiling him, and repeatedly trying to have him killed. When Malcolm trusts Elijah Muhammad too much and thereby breaks one of the hustlers rules, he experiences grave consequences.
Like a hustler, Malcolm tries to understand his enemys psychology in order to guard against danger and tries to develop a strong public image to inspire fear. As Malcolm deals with the resistance of the police and the white press to his political activities, he never loses sight of the necessity of knowing how they work in order to be able to challenge them effectively. For instance, after visiting a Los Angeles newspaper for a week, Malcolm becomes ready to launch an informed counterattack, in the form of his own Muslim newspaper, Muhammad Speaks.
Furthermore, as an activist Malcolm carefully shapes his public image, just as he does earlier as a hustler. While his obsession with defending his image leads Malcolm to near-death in a duel with West Indian Archie, it allows him to deal effectively with the white press.
Not afraid to ignore questions or answer questions that are different from the ones the press poses him, Malcolm uses his smooth-talking skill to fine-tune his public image to his advantage. His understanding of the similarity between hustling individuals and hustling the public enables him to stay out of the way, temporarily, of the dangerous intentions that his ideas provoke. The skills Malcolm acquires as a hustler in Harlem also help him turn his ambitions for the expansion of the Nation of Islam into a reality.
As Malcolm rapidly rises through the Nations ranks, a religious fervor for recruitment drives him, and he eventually crosses the country to found temples in Boston, Harlem, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. His experience as a quick judge of character helps him run the new temples smoothly, and his knowledge of street psychology and slang makes him more persuasive than his Christian competitors to many young black city-dwellers.
Still, with all his credibility, he finds the majority unreachable, plagued by social, spiritual, economic, and political problems.
The most important part of Malcolms Harlem experience is the knowledge that blacks must be aggressive about helping themselves if they want to improve their situation.
Although Malcolm and Elijah Muhammad both fight for black rights, they differ in their estimation of how the struggle for these rights should be carried out. While Elijah Muhammad wants American blacks to adopt an Asian identity and speak Arabic, Malcolm continues to believe in a version of his fathers pan-Africanism, inspired by Marcus Garvey.
While Elijah Muhammad wants American blacks to be their own kind of middle-class Americans in conservative suits, Malcolm remains more interested in the plight of the poor.
Both men agree that the correct response to segregation is not integration but cultural and economic separation. However, they could not disagree more on how to achieve these goals: That there are such differences of opinion between two leaders within the same group illustrates the complexity of the race issue in America.
Mecca America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. See Important Quotations Explained Malcolm explains that every Muslim must, if possible, make a pilgrimage, or hajj, to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Malcolm has no trouble receiving financial backing from Ella, who has also withdrawn from the Nation of Islam. When Malcolm applies for a hajj visa, he learns that his status as a Muslim must be approved by Mahmoud Youssef Shawarbi, a Muslim United Nations advisor. Malcolm leaves the United States and goes to see sights in Cairo. He then flies to Jedda, Saudi Arabia, where officials confiscate his passport and tell him a high court must establish whether or not he is a true Muslim.
Officials send him to a crowded airport dormitory, where he reflects on the various languages, colors, and customs of the Muslims around him. Malcolm calls Omar Azzam, a friend of Shawarbis, for help. Azzam vacates his fathers suite at the Jedda Palace Hotel for Malcolm. This hospitality impresses Malcolm, who enjoys fine food and conversation with Jeddas elite and is lent a car by Saudi Arabias Prince Faisal himself to make the hajj to Mecca.
Malcolm describes his sense of wonder at Mecca. During his visit, he admires the Islamic worlds lack of racial divisions. At the end of the hajj, Malcolm writes letters home that express his changed perspective on racial problems in the United States.
Having met whiteskinned people who are untainted by racism, Malcolm now locates Americas problems in the white attitude generated by four hundred years of collective violence against blacks. He sees Islam as a solution to Americas problems. Malcolm signs all of his letters El-Hajj Malik ElShabazz, which becomes his official name, although the world continues to refer to him as Malcolm X. SummaryChapter Eighteen: El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz The American Negro has been entirely brainwashed from ever seeing or thinking of himself, as he should, as a part of the nonwhite peoples of the world.
See Important Quotations Explained Malcolm learns that leaders and intellectuals of nonwhite nations are interested in the plight of American blacks. Malcolm flies to Lebanon, where he is warmly received. In Ghana, a high commissioner gives Malcolm ceremonial robes. Malcolm then visits Liberia, Senegal, and Morocco before returning home.
In New York, reporters besiege him with questions that imply a connection between him and race riots erupting across the country. The presss failure to acknowledge Malcolms new outlook frustrates him.
SummaryChapter Nineteen: Im for justice, no matter who it is for or against. He emphasizes its inclusiveness of people of any faith, though it excludes whites from membership. Malcolm believes that whites should change their own communities in separate organizations and that black people must unify before they band together with whites to fight racism.
Malcolm returns to Africa and the Middle East for another eighteen weeks, meeting with many world leaders. He confesses to feeling stifled in his new endeavors by his reputation. He predicts that he will die a violent death, doubting that he will live to see the publication of his autobiography. His visits to several African nations that have recently won their independence from European colonial powers, as well as to socialist Egypt and anti-imperialist India, inspire his vision of a worldwide context for the civil rights movement.
Instead of resisting the differences between their version of Islam and his own, he thoughtfully considers how their philosophy can be applied to blacks in America. Malcolms intention to bring the United States in front of a U. Though Malcolm first espouses a worldwide view of racial oppression in this chapter, earlier sections of the autobiography hint that Malcolm will eventually relate the struggle of blacks in America to the struggles of other oppressed groups.
For example, while describing his first impressions of New York City in Chapter Five, Harlemite, Malcolm traces the history of the Harlem ghetto as a place where minority racial groups have confined themselves. In seeing blacks as part of a series of American immigrant groups struggle to escape the ghetto, Malcolm relates racism against blacks to bias against Germans, Italians, Jews, and the Dutch. But Malcolm feels that prejudice against blacks, while similar to the prejudices against these other groups, is more deep-rooted and more difficult to remedy.
He aligns the struggle of American blacks with the struggle of minorities in other countries because he believes that the political and economical problems of American blacks are more similar to the problems of blacks in other parts of the world than to those of other groups in America.
Though ethnic minorities in America have had to fight prejudice, they have not suffered the same degree of oppression and subjugation as the many black peoples whom whites reduced to slavery. The great change that Malcolm undergoes at the end of the autobiography parallels the change that he earlier undergoes in prison. In both cases, he abandons his radical views on race and broadens his perspective. His time in prison, during which he educates himself and converts to Islam, shows him the need to bring the struggle for equality to the black masses.
After his. Similarly, his time in the Middle East exposes him to new points of view and offers him new insight into how to resolve racial tensions.
For example, during his pilgrimage to Mecca and his subsequent stops in the Middle East, Malcolm witnesses the colorblindness of the Islamic world. This colorblindness refers to a model of racial integration that Malcolm actively resists earlier. Seeing its effectiveness in another environment, however, changes Malcolms attitude toward it. He emerges from his travels convinced that oppressed nonwhite groups throughout the world must unite to eliminate white oppression altogether. In both cases, Malcolms openness to the wisdom around him helps him develop a more mature outlook.
His constant growth as a person shows that he is not a mere angry revolutionary who wants vengeance against whites but a leader sincerely interested in achieving racial harmony.
Epilogue Summary Note: The epilogue differs from the other chapters of the autobiography in that it is told from Alex Haleys point of view. He writes two articles on Malcolm X and one on Elijah Muhammad before a publisher proposes to Haley the idea of a biography. Having won the trust of Malcolm and Elijah Muhammad with the earlier pieces, Haley gets them both to agree to the project. Haley gains Malcolm Xs trust over a long period of interviews.
Malcolm, who suspects all reporters, including black ones, of serving white America, is at first very cautious about Haleys project. After almost giving up because Malcolm refuses to produce anything but Nation of Islam rhetoric, Haley observes that Malcolm often scribbles on scraps of paper around him with a red pen.
Haley then starts laying out note cards before each interview and collecting them afterward with Malcolms scribblings on them. These fragments of Malcolms private thoughts prove instrumental for Haley in understanding Malcolm. Haley begins work on the autobiography shortly before Malcolms falling out with Elijah Muhammad, and the epilogue traces the last two years of Malcolms life from Haleys point of view.
Haley emphasizes the tension and violence surrounding Malcolms final days and describes in detail the death threats that precede Malcolms assassination. On February 21, , three audience members at a lecture at Harlems Audubon Ballroom, which Malcolm has been renting to use for his new organization, shoot and kill Malcolm X. Police arrest three suspects, all with Muslim affiliations, who are later convicted. However, comments that Malcolm made in his final days suggest that somebody more powerful than the Nation of Islam may have had a hand in the killing.
Haley describes Malcolms funeral, which is attended by thousands of blacks, whites, Muslims, and non-Muslims. The funeral rites are performed by, among others, a sheikh, or Arab man, from Mecca.
The sheikh ends with a description of the Islamic view of life after the Day of Judgment, thereby hinting that Malcolm has ascended to paradise. Analysis The epilogue raises the question of whether or not The Autobiography of Malcolm X is more autobiography or biography.
In describing his unusual collaboration with Malcolm X, Alex Haley shows that the work is a product of both of their minds. Though Haley is one of the most famous African-American nonfiction authors of the twentieth century, questions have arisen about his scholarly integrity. Some critics have dismissed his later work, Roots, in which Haley attempts to trace the generations of his own family from Africa to the present day, as poorly researched.
Although The Autobiography of Malcolm X involves much more straightforward.
They fear that the collaborative nature of the work may have stifled Malcolm, who was as eager to teach others as he was to learn. The slips of paper on which Malcolm scribbles unconsciously at each interview reveal that Malcolm maintained an independent and open-minded current of thought, free of the rhetoric that he publicly embraced and propagated.
The first slip of paper Haley recovers, written at the peak of Malcolms submission to Elijah Muhammad, reveals a fiercely independent mind reaching out to understand hate in another context. Its musing that [i]f Christianity had asserted itself in Germany six million Jews would have lived reflects a religious tolerance that was unacceptable by the Nation of Islams standards. Despite his commitment to the Nations goals, Malcolm broadened his concern beyond prejudice against blacks to prejudice against all people.
The next scribbling, recovered by Haley in the tumultuous period of the break with Elijah Muhammad, further underscores Malcolms dedication to his true beliefs even when they went against the Nations. Its statement that you have not converted a man because you have silenced him resonates with both its immediate and general circumstances. The immediate circumstance was Elijah Muhammads silencing of Malcolm after Malcolm made unpopular remarks about President Kennedys assassination.
While the Nation of Islam remained respectful to the slain leader, Malcolm viewed the assassination as the logical outcome of U. The general circumstance surrounding this quote was that while Malcolm had been censoring himself and deferring to the word of Elijah Muhammad for a long time, he never truly subjugated his principles.
Malcolms comment, made during his conversion to a more tolerant vision of Islam, that my life has always been one of changes alludes to his lifelong trajectory toward global tolerance. Though simple, this observation points to Malcolms openness to change, which in turn points to the sincerity of his quest to resolve the race issues that have always surrounded him.
When, as Malcolm Little, he can no longer tolerate being treated as a pet, Malcolm leaves for the big city to explore his black identity. As Detroit Red he becomes notorious with musicians, gamblers, and hustlers in Boston and Harlem, but he eventually gives himself up after recognizing the emptiness of this fast lifestyle.
In prison, Malcolm matures from a vicious inmate known as Satan into a voracious intellectual. He emerges as Malcolm X and, committed to getting people politically active, extends the Nation of Islam across the United States. Late in his life, as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm focuses on developing a global unity between oppressed peoples, finally convinced that a cooperative effort on the part of many groups can improve the lot of blacks everywhere.
The lengthy and varied trajectory of his path shows that the poor race relations between blacks and whites in the United States constitute a complex problem with no easy solution. Important Quotations Explained 1. In one sense, we were huddled in there, bonded togethher in seeking security and warmth and comfort from each other, and we didnt know it. All of uswho might have probed space, or cured cancer, or built industrieswere, instead, black victims of the white mans American social system.
This passage from Chapter Six, Detroit Red, describes the Harlem nightclub as a family network and a safe space that counterbalances the overwhelming forces of racism in the outside world. The description is typical of the autobiography in its portrayal of members of the Harlem community as victims of racial oppression.
Faced with this political reality, those who frequent these nightclubs must concern themselves mainly with the basic matter of surviving the conditions of the ghetto. However, it all changed when a gambling dispute threw him off Harlem. Then, he moved back to Boston and started robbing houses. He was reading anything and everything and soon trained his public speaking voice.
If you want to know more details about the life of Malcolm X, read our key lessons, and of course, pick up the full book. Childhood Events Shape People 2.
Childhood events shape us as people and create a basis for our values, what we love and what we try to change. Of course not always people walk from darkness to light, but for him, it was important that he experienced the worse, and raised from the ashes. When Malcolm found out that Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam was not a face that was materializing all of his beliefs and values, he felt truly betrayed.
However, one year later, he notices Muslims showing mercy to each other, and questioned his beliefs again. He was not afraid to admit that he was wrong and to question himself. Life is evolving, and it is only human that we sometimes make mistakes, and learn the right answers somewhere further along the way. Like this summary? For those of you who want to learn something new daily, 12min App takes you on a personal development journey with the key takeaways from the greatest bestsellers.
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