Essay On Malcolm X
Who is the biography about? Why are they important within the context of leadership in the African Diaspora?
The biography is about Malcolm Little, also known as Malcolm X. He is an American Muslim who advocated for the rights of the black and remained as human rights activist all his life. Malcolm X is one of the important historical figures in the African-American society who fought and took pride in popularizing his ideas especially about black youth as well as the Black Movement from 1960s – 1970s. Malcolm X appeared as the voice of the Civil Rights Movement who encouraged every black individual to cast off the constrained racism through any means including violence. His violent proposal earned the birth of an independent nation of black people. Because of his passionate, inspirational and articulate disposition, Malcolm X managed to grow the 400 members of the Nation of Islam to 40,000 passionate associates by 1960 . His influence managed to reach the community of African-Americans especially in the slum areas in the American cities. The violent approach of Malcolm X inspired the African-Americans and achieve acceptance in the modern era.
According to Malcolm/Angela, what is the main purpose of this biography/text? Can you identify the reason why they felt it necessary to document their lives?
The autobiography of Malcolm X intends to describe the details of their lives on how they fought and emerge as a leader while fighting for what they believe when it comes to equality and racism. The documentation of the life of a leader such as Malcolm X explains that advocates like him started as an ordinary individual who aspired to become free from unfair treatment and deprived of equality regardless of skin colour. This documentation also highlights what kind of individual Malcolm X was and that his journey to combat racism strengthened through his passion, independent thoughts and aspirations. It is also important that the documentation emphasized the turning point of Malcolm X’s life that was his conversion to Islam. His exposure to Islam transformed his violent disposition in fighting racism to a moral purpose. It was apparent in this documentation that his rage motivated him to free everyone from inequality but eventually Islam tamed his closed-mindedness and used this to empower the black Americans.
How has this book helped you understand the complexities of the US civil rights movement?
The American Civil Rights apparently is the defining moment in the history of the American people as the black Americans continuously fight for equality and justice. This movement aimed to achieved citizen rights among African-Americans that white Americans take for granted. This text explained the injustice experienced by the Americans during this era while highlighting the roles of every American as well as their unity and organization. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Macolm X is one of the prominent figures who pushed every American to endlessly fight for injustice . Malcolm X’s stand during this prominent movement was to fight injustice through violence as part of the self-defence and the establishment of an isolated black community rather than promoting integration . The Civil Rights Movement became successful that African-Americans achieved their rights for voting and public accommodations. This movement also became the vehicle for the black Americans to achieve the rights to equal jobs and housing the same way the Whites avail of it. Unfortunately, the Civil Rights Movement did not solve the poverty challenges, drugs and other crimes but led to the process of integration of school and education.
What was your favourite part of the text and why?
The autobiography of Malcolm X is very informative and appear as eye-opener to what occurred during the era where there is an isolation, inequality and injustice among the Americans. One of my favourite texts in the book says that “so early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise .” I admire that as early as his childhood years, Malcolm X already establishes within himself that he wanted change for himself and the people that surrounds him. Malcolm X become the angriest, most outspoken and radical American Muslim, and unfortunately, resolved to fight injustice and inequality through violence. Perhaps during their era, people already experienced enough frustrations to combat the unfair treatment of the White people against the black Americans, thus, a person like Malcolm X became fed up and viewed that for social change to happen there must have some sort of violence. He believed that when people are in danger, fighting violently justifies such action because it is the way to achieve and retain the respect among the people. Furthermore, I appreciate his statements that say “The ability to read awoke inside of me some long dormant craving to become mentally alive.” Having an understanding and knowledge by exposing oneself through reading empowers an individual to fight not only for himself but also for every member of his community. Knowledge gained and retained appears as power that nobody can take away from an individual.
In your opinion, what was this books greatest contribution in helping you, as the reader, understand the reasons why the main figure of this text chose to devote their lives to the freedom struggle in the US?
This book explains the struggle and achievements of every American while fighting for justice and equality especially during the 1960s – 1970s. The details cited in this book established awareness among its readers how an empowered individual like Malcolm X built his vision and made it his mission to fight for the rights of black Americans. Sadly, the struggle meant losing lives, rights and families, however, it is important to note that because of these sacrifices, the black Americans did not merely sit quietly but fought to achieve their human rights. The leadership established by Malcolm X assisted the African-Americans to have a deeper understanding of the disadvantageous situation that occurs between the black and white Americans. It is also an important lesson learned in this text that Malcolm’s continuous radicalism and eloquence moved the white Americans and became anxious about his doctrines. The continuous pressure towards Malcolm eventually led him to turn himself to Islam and found a renewed vision through its brotherhood. This text successful highlighted how a radical person transformed from his raged individuality and prioritized his faith to his religion instead of skin colour.
How did this text help you understand the history of racial inequality in the US?
This text explained a long history of racial inequality in the United States. This inequality highlighted several societal concerns that affect the lives of the American people especially different ethnic groups. The obvious manifestation of racial inequality in the US, as mentioned in the book, was poverty. Apparently, the discrimination among the black and white Americans occurred in the availability of jobs. White Americans were more favoured in terms of having high-paying jobs, while black Americans could not even worked with the white Americans in the same building. The augment income inequality led to death of many black Americans that also became obvious with the economic segregation. This inequality also manifested through housing ownership among the black people. It appears that during this time, the black Americans have lower net worth when it comes to owning their house. It also occurred that racial inequality also favoured the white Americans to acquire higher home equity when it comes to housing value. Low funding and deprived assistance in education is also another manifestation of racial inequality in the United States. The government provided limited resources when it comes to facilities, opportunities for education and programs for black students.
What have been the reactions to this text? How have scholars reacted to this text? What have book reviews said about this text? DO YOU agree or disagree with the reviews that you have read, why or why not?
Readers of this autobiography revealed that this book changed their outlook and belief towards Malcolm X. One book review stated that prior to reading to the book, his notion about Malcolm X is that he was a mere human and militant activist filled with anger in his life. After reading the book, the reviewer cited that it was informative and led to open his eyes how racial discrimination and inequality within America affects its people. I agree how the readers accepted the book as valuable and informative, thus, deserves recommendation not only for leisure reading but also part of school curriculum.
Baldwin, L. "Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.: What they thought about each other." Islamic Studies (1986): 395-416. Web Document.
Corlett, J. "Political Integration, Political Separation and the African-American Experience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X on Social Change." Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, vol. 21, no.2 (1995): 1910207. Web Document.
Decaro, L. Malcolm and the Cross: The Nation of Islam, Malcolm X and Christianity. New York: New York Press, 2000. Book.
X, M. and A. Haley. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballantine Books, 1987. Book.
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