The Autobiography of Malcolm X
How is it that a man who was completely illiterate, a criminal and even worse he was black, in a time that meant you were less than a dog, could go on to lead a nation of black people towards freedom? Malcolm X is the classical story of tenacity, adversity, and determination and his end result was triumph. To Malcolm X reading was the most important thing in the world to him, and no matter how hard it would be he wanted nothing more than to learn. He knew that if he were to change his life around and make something of himself, he had to begin with the smallest of aspect which as learning how to read.
His persistence did not Just help him become the man he wanted to be, but it propelled him into the history books and he will forever remain a figure for many because he simply chose to take advantage of one of the most basic educational tools which is reading. Showing the world that every man deserved to be treated equally and that no matter how big or small your goals are if you are tenacious enough then you will reach them. Malcolm X played a major role in African American history. He was a Civil Rights leader and was very powerful to many people f his time and even now.
He enforced the idea that all people were created equal and that the way of life should remain that way. Malcolm has influenced much of society today. He changed the world’s direction and shape in many ways. He inspired many African Americans to fight racism continuously and proactively. He offered an alternative to martin Luther kings argument to non-violence and pacifism. He also showed that African Americans could also be articulate and highly intellectual. While in prison, Malcolm is tried to make great use for his time.
He ran across a man named Bimbo, whom he became very Jealous of, because Bimbo seemed to have it all together. Malcolm envied Bimbo, Elijah Muhammad, and had great respect for him even though he did not know him. Malcolm loved the way that Bimbo always was in the topic of discussion in many conversations people were having, and to Malcolm, Bimbo’s vocabulary was flawless. He felt as if he knew exactly what he was talking about and that he was an all-around amazing person. After watching Bimbo in amazement he began to read books. Books in which he could barely understand.
Saying, “They might as well have been in Chinese. ” Soon after, he went to the Norfolk Prison and began trying reading more and more. He requested a dictionary, a tablet, and some pencils from the prison, and once they were granted to him he began copying pages from the dictionary, Just reading it back to himself over and over. He was self teaching himself to read, write and understand all at once. He took it one step at a time, one day at a time and his strategy was to start with copying the first page in the dictionary of As, and then he read them back to himself continuously.
He eke up the next day thinking about the previous words he had written and was shocked and proud to have written that many words. This is what began to mold Malcolm X into an amazing man, he was able to teach himself to understand the fundamentals of reading and writing and then went on to make a monumental movement in African American history. All it took was some dedication and belief in himself. Malcolm used many different dictionaries while imprisoned. He was so fascinated with his learning the dictionary so quickly that he went on the next day and began writing the second page.
He explains in the article, “l studied the next page and the same experience came when I studied that (X 16). ” The more pages he wrote in the dictionary the more he would explain that he would learn more about people, places and events in history. Soon after the As section had filled a full tablet he moved onto the B section of the dictionary. “That was the way I started copying what had eventually became the entire dictionary (X 16). ” He was extremely successful while in prison, how many men are sent to prison and then teach themselves to read?
He took it upon himself to take a bad situation and turning it into time for him to reflect and prepare himself to become great, which speaks volumes of his character and determination. It was Civil Rights leaders like Malcolm X who have helped to ensure no one has to struggle to obtain the ability to read and write. He made it his purpose to educate everyone in future generations so that it would help lead too brighter, wiser America. It was during the time of self-enlightenment that Malcolm brother, Shorts, visited him and Jail talked about his recent conversations with the Muslim Religions Organization of the Nation of Islam.
After liking to his brother he explained to him, Malcolm decided to study the Nation of Islam. He came across the leader of the nation, Elijah Muhammad. Muhammad preached that white society constantly worked to keep African Americans from empowering themselves and achieving political, economic and social success. Among other goals, the Nation of Islam fought for a state of their own, one separate from state inhabited by the white people. Malcolm was named the minister at the No’s Boston mosque, Temple No. 11. The following year he also became the minister at Temple No. 2 (Philadelphia) and Temple No. (New York). In the sass’s he was invited to participate in numerous debates and television shows. In 1963, the New York Times reported that Malcolm X was the second most sought after speaker in the United States. This is when Malcolm X began to become a household name and began to affect people’s lives on a completely different level. Even though Malcolm X was seen as a great man and one of the greatest leaders to ever walk the face of this Earth, he was scrutinized by so many people as well.
Unlike Martin Luther King Jar, who was equally as important to the Civil Rights movement in America, Malcolm X as a physical, demanding and aggressive person. He didn’t choose to have sit ins, protests and marches, he made it his purpose to get his message across loud and clear. He viewed protests as futile, while they served their purpose, most of the time people do not like to acknowledge there is a problem until people began to get hurt. This is also led to some criticism from his own race about the way he did things, but still he stood by his beliefs and knew in his heart that what he was doing was for the good of his people.
Even though his views weren’t always agreed with by everyone hey were very effective and no one ever denied how intelligent and how caring he was. For the times Malcolm X was the worst nightmare for the typical suburban, middle class White American. He was aggressive, persistent, intelligent and didn’t wait for result but demanded them. Ever since he realized how much he wanted to be someone, he made it his agenda to change everything about his old self. He learned how to read and never stopped educating himself, adopted the Islamic faith, and even changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X.
He saw it more important than anything else to lead his people. He was tired of Blacks being unable to read the most basic things such as a daily newspaper, he was unhappy with the way Blacks were being treated and took it upon himself to change all of that by changing himself and then showing the world that if you want something in life you have to take it. Even today many people are still adopting the principles that Malcolm X brought forth to us, all of which started from a man wanting to make something of himself because he was tired of seeing himself, and more importantly, seeing his people struggle.