EssaysReview of the Autobiography of Malcolm X
The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told by Alex Haley is about a man who changed the history of America. Malcolm (Little) X preached what he believed about racism, discrimination, and segregation. He went through many changes in his fight for equality. The three transformations that really changed the way Malcolm thought and preached where his transformation in prison, his transformation into the Islamic religion (following Elijah Muhammad), and the biggest transformation of all, his pilgrimage to Mecca. In all of Malcolm actions, teachings and transformations we learn different points of view and we get a good look at different aspects of events. The life of Malcolm (Little) X as told in his autobiography should be read by all.
Malcolm X while in prison completed his first transformation. Like many great figures and history makers had a low point in is life. At this time Malcolm was into drugs, hustling, women and money. He became so dependant on making a lot of money he and some of his friends decided to rob the house of an old white man. They were caught for this crime and were not only charged with this crime but were also charged with having sex with white women. Malcolm and his friend “Shorty” were sentenced to six years in prison. The two white women that were Malcolm and Shortys accomplices were sentenced to a year in jail. During the first couple days of prison Malcolm was coming off a drug high and was having withdrawals. These withdrawals led Malcolm into solitary confinement for two months. When he was let out of his chamber he met the man that would later be responsible for Malcolms transformation. This man was a follower of the nation of Islam and the great Alijah Muhammad. Malcolm learned a great deal form him. This shows us that even in the worst of circumstances we can learn and become better. This transformation was a great test for Malcolm and starts to let us see what a great influence he would end up being in the lives of many Americans.
Malcolms second transformation was his immersion and dedication to the Nation of Islam. He followed the “great” Alijah Muhammad and his teachings. Malcolm started preaching to small amounts of followers. It did not take long for the word of Malcolms preaching to get into the community. Soon he had packed services and prayers. Malcolms participation in the Nation of Islam gave him a sense of direction. It made him feel like he was doing something. It was not long after that that Alijah himself was asking to talk to him. Malcolm then became a spokesperson for the Nation of Islam. This gave him power that Malcolm thrived off of. At this point in Malcolms life he has overcome great odds. He has overcome obstacles that not many do. He is becoming a nationally known figure in the struggle for equal rights for all. He is a great example of how even though the odds are against us that we can become successful members of society. During Malcolms time in the Nation of Islam he makes other fathers jealous and envious. It seems that not only the fathers, but also Alijah himself, are conspiring to get Malcolm out of the nation. They feel he is getting too powerful. Malcolm starts to realize that maybe the teachings of the Nation are not he best way to solve things. He breaks from the nation of Islam and decides to take a pilgrimage to Mecca to find his true feelings on equality and how to solve the problem.
Malcolms third transformation, maybe his most important, was his pilgrimage to Mecca. Here he learned that black and white people can coexist in a society without having to be segregated. His view of the way things should be changed while he was in Mecca. He went from wanting separated states for blacks and whites to wanting to be together and to think of each other as equals. While in Mecca he witnessed blacks and whites together in communities where color was not an issue. This is where he found the way he wanted things to be in the United States. When Malcolm returned to the states and presented his followers with his new idea and was breaking away form the beliefs of the Nation of Islam his followers seemed to grow. Malcolm was at his high point in his life. He was in control. He was in control of what he believed. He was in control of what he did. At this point in his life I think is when he gained most of his respect. Malcolm really showed a lot of character to push away his hatred of the white people and realize that we need to be one in the community. This transformation is the one that impacted the life we live today.
Malcolm had a lot of respect from those who believed in what he was preaching. He was a man who new what he wanted and was going to change the way things were. Malcolm did not have the odds to make something of himself. He overcame those odds and became one of the most inspiring and important people in the struggle for equality. Every one should learn from the way Malcolm turned his life around for the better and how he made an impact on those around him. Malcolm (Little) X is definitely one of the people who made the biggest impact on the 20th Century. We have come along way since Malcolms assassination in the struggle for quality. We still have a ways to go before his final goal is reached.