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AUTOBIOGRAPHY MALCOLM X TOLD ALEX HALEY PDF

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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.

Malcolm moves in with his brother Wilfred and becomes very active in the Detroit temple of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm visits the Middle East and Africa.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X PDF Summary

At the end of his life. Malcolm dates Sophia for years. Laura—Laura is a squarely middle-class African-American girl who falls for Malcolm and adopts his vices. This reciprocity of power ultimately makes Muhammad nervous. Shorty—When Malcolm approaches Shorty in a Boston poolhall. Malcolm rejects Reginald for the Nation. Sophia—During his hustler era. Reginald—Malcolm feels responsible for his little brother. Reginald converts him to the Nation of Islam. He ultimately is arrested with Malcolm for burglary.

After particularly hard times during the Great Depression. She welcomes him into her home in Boston. Shorty takes him under his wing. Malcolm feels responsible for her fate.

When Malcolm is in prison. Elijah Muhammad—The leader of the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm regards and treats her as an object. In the Epilogue the reader receives the impression that Malcolm and Haley forged a friendship during the course of writingThe Autobiography. She represents the status afforded to any black man who dates an attractive white woman. When he is an adolescent. Shawarbi also sets Malcolm up with people in the Middle East to ensure that Malcolm has a smooth trip.

Mahmoud Youssef Shawarbi—Shawarbi is a Muslim professor. He favors Malcolm most of all his children. He is an "old head" when Malcolm arrives in New York. West Indian Archie—West Indian Archie earns his formidable reputation as a numbers runner during the Harlem heyday of the s and s.

Sammy the Pimp—Until Reginald arrives. Omar Azzam—The son of an Arabian author. Louise Little can read and has strong religious beliefs. The Klansmen order Earl to come out. The crime is never investigated. Earl Little. He is committed to spreading the ideas of Marcus Garvey. Welfare agents begin to take an interest in the family.

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She is stricter with Malcolm than she is with her other children. She is capable of passing as white. In Michigan. Their names are Ella. Louise and Earl will have four more children— Reginald. As in Omaha. Malcolm is expelled from school for playing a prank on a teacher. When Malcolm says "lawyer". The next year. Malcolm sees a whole world of affluent middle-class and professional blacks. Malcolm already passes as an adult. Malcolm is especially aware of his race. Still in his early teens. He bristles when people call him "nigger".

For instance. He helps around the house and is receptive and intelligent. That year. Malcolm feels relatively happy until he enters seventh grade. While living with the Gohannases. At school. Malcolm becomes a model student. Braddock in to introduce the boxing that he and his brother Philbert do as young men. Malcolm holds such strong opinions that it is inevitable that his worldview at the time of the book.

She invites Malcolm to visit her in Boston. The Swerlins ask him to leave their home. In Boston. After this comment. The home is run by the Swerlins.

At every turn of his life. Malcolm soon picks up basketball after two disastrous losses in the ring. At school dances. Despite the racial tension. Malcolm also describes his own feelings toward some present-day middle.

Shorty immediately takes Malcolm under his wing. He also sees a difference between the lifestyle of the middle-class blacks who. One explanation for these seeming oversights is the fact thatThe Autobiography is about the actions of a single individual. World War II. Very quickly. In Roxbury. And the rest of the Civil Rights Movement. At the Roseland State Ballroom. He lives with his half-sister Ella.

Malcolm sees the difference between the bustle and culture of Boston and that of Lansing. Malcolm is drawn to the latter. Malcolm replaces the shoeshine boy. The Depression is mentioned. Shorty admits how unfashionable he thought Malcolm looked when they met. Malcolm is not entirely at ease with the middle-class environment. Malcolm confesses to Laura his old dream of becoming a lawyer. At parties. Malcolm takes Laura home and then returns to the Ballroom. Malcolm also attracts the attention of a white woman.

Summary and Analysis 11 Malcolm has seen the Roseland State Ballroom and is impressed by its size and reputation. Malcolm is only sixteen. With his earnings. Malcolm downloads a second. Once their friendship develops. Laura is an excellent dancer. He is quickly immersed in the pleasures and vices of urban nightlife. Laura is a quiet. Malcolm quits his Ballroom job. The outgoing shoeshine boy trains Malcolm in the basics of the job. Since he is dating an attractive white woman who is not a prostitute.

Ella is happy when Malcolm quits his job at the Roseland. Laura always appears at the soda fountain with a book. Malcolm begins to shoot craps. After quitting. Sophia has white boyfriends in addition to Malcolm. He contrasts the dancing done in Michigan with the freedom and expression of the real Lindy-hopping that goes on at the Boston parties.

Laura loves dancing. Laura stops coming to the drugstore. Malcolm overcomes his shyness and develops a great passion for dancing. The second time Malcolm and Laura go dancing. Malcolm soon dumps Laura. Malcolm becomes something of a celebrity at nightclubs and bars. One patron. Malcolm hates the job.

Malcolm draws Laura into his lifestyle. Analysis Once Malcolm reaches Boston and begins living the nightlife. Malcolm achieves the position he has hoped for.

Malcolm takes work as a busboy at a restaurant. Malcolm strengthens the moral authority of his conversion. Through Malcolm. But seeing these circumstances does not necessarily have to be as fun as the text makes it. By showing us that he has tasted and touched and felt as much as a man can before he repents.

Malcolm hears unfortunate stories about Laura. Everywhere else. For white readers. In guessing why the descriptions of the Boston underworld are so enticing. The dramatic movement of the text as a whole depends on our fully understanding the grim circumstances out of which Malcolm X emerged. This feeling is enhanced by the historical distance.

Malcolm is impressed by the conservatively dressed black men who speak in low tones. Summary and Analysis 12 To support himself. Malcolm blames himself. Over the next few years. The austere world of the Nation of Islam might appear too stern. On the train. At this point. He learns the names and faces of the young numbers runners.

Summary and Analysis 13 his duties well. Malcolm makes a good impression on the customers and on his employers. Malcolm also meets an assortment of pimps. Malcolm permanently replaces the former sandwich salesman and spends every other night in New York. Malcolm befriends the women and. The soldier acts thankful and happy. Malcolm becomes known by the nickname "Detroit Red. Malcolm also shows off before a crowd at a high school dance. Malcom takes pity on the officer and offers him contact information for a prostitute.

The bar and restaurant are run in accordance with a strict set of rules. When Malcolm returns to New York. Malcolm serves a lonely black soldier. He sleeps at the YMCA. Malcolm uses the miles he has earned as a railroad employee to visit Michigan. Malcolm begins to invest a lot of money in the numbers. With the money from his tips. His performances begin to push the boundaries of acceptable. With permanent employment. Malcolm moves to another rooming-house.

Malcolm himself is soon summoned by the draft board. Once Malcolm is on the road. The narcotics squad in Harlem knows Malcolm too well for him to resume his drug-dealing there. On this visit. Malcolm also uses his ID to make a trip to Boston. By dressing extravagantly. Malcolm has to move weekly to avoid being arrested on planted evidence.

He becomes addicted to his own goods. Malcolm never plans heists that are too extravagant. Summary and Analysis 14 With the help of Sammy the Pimp. This pleases Malcolm. The city government shuts down the Savoy Ballroom. Malcolm also begins trafficking in guns and starts using harder drugs. Malcolm also sets up Reginald with a "safe" hustle.

Malcolm often works with Sammy. Conditions in Harlem begin worsening. After his tenure at the gambling parlor.

“The Autobiography of Malcolm X PDF Summary”

The next day Malcolm punches a young hustler in the face. West Indian Archie humiliates Malcolm but does not shoot him. He likes the work and his boss. Malcolm hits a low point when West Indian Archie accuses him of collecting winnings on a bet he had not actually placed. Now the cops. West Indian Archie gives Malcolm until the next day to return the money. Malcolm begins to work for the numbers racket. Malcolm himself plays the numbers more and more heavily. Malcolm depends increasingly on Reginald.

Shorty gets Malcolm out of New York. In Malcolm insists he has remembered correctly. Malcolm steers rich old white men who wish to be whipped by young black women and bored rich white housewives who wish to be taken by young black men.

Just as Malcolm thinks he is going to be shot. He returns to Harlem and goes out on a date. Malcolm gets high on opium. Analysis The phenomenon of the numbers becomes particularly important in these chapters.

Malcolm works for a madam. After the steering job. Malcolm is suspected in the robbery of a craps game run by Italian racketeers. He has an ability to remember long lists of numbers. Malcolm and Sammy are reconciled. He begins to feel a heightened level of tension walking the streets of Harlem. For six months he transports betting slips. Malcolm works for a Jewish businessman who renovates bars and sells them to speculators.

Reginald has quit his hustle. Malcolm and Shorty also include Sophia and her sister. When playing the numbers. Although the numbers games were also a form of gambling.

The numbers racket in Harlem was the largest in the country. The lotteries often injured these areas. Malcolm begins to do cocaine again. Malcolm is known as ruthless and trigger-happy. Malcolm remains close to Sophia. In the s. Playing the numbers had a spiritual side. Shorty and Ella marvel at the transformed Malcolm.

African-American neighborhoods throughout the United States devoted enormous amounts of money to this form of gambling. He decides to make his money through burglary. Malcolm is partly driven by his desire to see his old friend Shorty no longer be destitute. When state-run lotteries were established in the s and s. Malcolm takes a few weeks to unwind from the tension of his situation in Harlem.

They describe what they see to the men. Summary and Analysis 16 until the s. Players made their bets and collected on them at "policy stations". Shorty agrees to join the burglary team. Shorty is smitten with Sophia. Reginald tells Malcolm that all wisdom is with Allah and that white people are devils. Malcolm saunters over and addresses the women intimately.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

One day. He is sent to Charlestown State Prison. The court sentences Malcolm and Shorty to ten years in prison. Shortly thereafter. In Charlestown. Summary and Analysis 17 Malcolm do the actual burglary.

Malcolm transfers to another prison in Concord. His refusal to eat pork causes an uproar and makes Malcolm feel proud. Reginald does not say very much. Malcolm meets an inmate named Bimbi. The two women and Shorty are also arrested. Bimbi speaks about various topics. Malcolm is transferred again to the Norfolk Prison Colony through arrangements made by Ella.

And, you know what they say: the rest is history. 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. 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? Click To Tweet The main thing you got to remember is that everything in the world is a hustle. Click To Tweet So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise. Click To Tweet The ability to read awoke inside of me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.

To understand that of any person, his whole life, from birth must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.

The reading of the book is a must! He becomes a ruthless hustler on the streets of Boston and New York but undergoes a change of heart during his time in prison.

After his release, he develops into an aggressive and persuasive spokesman for the Nation of Islam. As an independent and international political leader, he is tolerant, meditative, and ambitious. Elijah Muhammad - The spiritual leader of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm treats Elijah with immense respect even before he knows him, writing him letters daily while still in prison.

Though he seems like a benevolent father figure, Elijah Muhammad becomes a jealous and defensive leader as his health fails and as Malcolm becomes more powerful. Sister Betty - Malcolms wife, a quiet and strong woman. The autobiography does not emphasize Bettys role, though she acts as Malcolms secretary, housekeeper, and confidante.

Betty endures his busy traveling and work schedule, gives birth to five of his children, and witnesses his assassination. Shorty - Malcolms best friend during his Boston years. Shorty is a musician who at first leads and then follows Malcolm into a life of crime.

Shorty is a foil for Malcolm: while Malcolm converts to an aggressive hustler lifestyle, Shorty leads a comparatively normal life. The differences between the two men is clear in Shortys surprise at Malcolms foul language and violent tendencies, which he witnesses when Malcolm returns to Boston from New York.

Ella Little - Malcolms half-sister on his fathers side. When Malcolm is an adolescent, Ella provides him with a model of female strength and black pride. She represents family unity within the autobiography. She welcomes Malcolm into her home in Boston and always supports him, later lending him money for his pilgrimage to Mecca.

Earl Little - Malcolms father. A preacher and political organizer from Georgia, Earl is a tall and outspoken authority figure in Malcolms early years. Earls assassination by whites for preaching the Black Nationalist ideas of Marcus Garvey makes him a martyr for black nationalism.

Louise Little - Malcolms fair-skinned, black mother, who endures the worst of the Great Depression. For Malcolm, Louise represents the harm that the white government does even when it claims to be acting charitably.

Welfare agents separate Louise from her children and put her in a mental hospital, and Malcolms insistence on visiting her regularly shows his strong commitment to her. Sophia - Malcolms white girlfriend. Malcolm and Sophia do not love each other but rather use each other as status symbols. Sophia represents the tempting allure of white women for black men, and the emptiness of her relationship with Malcolm shapes Malcolms skepticism about interracial romance.

Laura - Malcolms first date, a quiet, middle-class black girl from Roxbury Hill. When Malcolm dumps Laura for Sophia, Laura becomes involved with drugs and prostitution. Laura is an innocent victim of the ruthless and self-hating behavior that Malcolm observes in urban black communities. Sammy the Pimp - A Harlem pimp and drug dealer.

The Autobiography Malcolm X.pdf

As close friends, Malcolm and Sammy work together until tension develops between them over Malcolms assault on one of Sammys girlfriends. This episode shows that even the closest friendships easily crumble when gambling, drugs, and violence are involved. West Indian Archie - An older Harlem hustler.

Archie pays Malcolm for helping him run an informal gambling system in Harlem until they break violently over a misunderstanding. Archies photographic memory and aptitude in math exemplify the wasted potential of the black ghetto. Bimbi - A prison inmate. Bimbi, the most vocal of Malcolms fellow inmates, makes speeches that gain him the respect of guards and prisoners alike. He demonstrates to Malcolm the power of independent thought and persuasive argument, and thus serves as an inspiration to Malcolm when Malcolm converts to Islam.

Cassius Clay Muhammad Ali - The world heavyweight boxing champion. Generous and understanding, Clay provides a place for Malcolm to stay during the first days of Malcolms split from the Nation of Islam.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as Told to Alex Haley (PDF)

Reginald Little - Malcolms younger brother. Malcolm takes Reginald under his wing from an early age and continues to protect him in Harlem. Malcolms later justification of Reginalds eventual insanity as retribution for sinning shows Malcolms commitment to the principles of Islam. Malcolm is the only major character in the autobiography.

Though many characters play a role in the development of Malcolms beliefs and career, the autobiography does not explore these characters in depth.

This lack of attention to other characters is not surprising, as an autobiography always focuses primarily on one person. Malcolm, however, changes frequently during his lifetime. Malcolm as Malcolm Little Malcolm Little passively endures the experiences that motivate his later obsession with racial politics in America. He encounters open racism when whites murder his father and subtle racism when white welfare agents institutionalize his mother.

Though Malcolm endures this racism quietly, it leads to his later development of antiwhite views. He ambitiously attempts to integrate himself into his predominantly white junior high school, but his white teachers and classmates racism thwarts his development. Attempting to flee the racist Midwest, Malcolm moves to Boston but finds racist dynamics exaggerated in the large coastal cities.

These early frustrations at the hands of a society unwilling to accept his efforts to fit in build a separatist fervor in Malcolm. Malcolm as Detroit Red The lifestyle of Detroit Red, the name Malcolm adopts as a hustler, illuminates the moral decay plaguing the ghetto. Fresh from Michigan, young Malcolm Little quickly adopts zoot suits, slang, drugs, and gambling, showing how easy it is to be seduced by fast-paced nightlife.

Earning the nickname Detroit Red for his bright red hair, he learns to conduct business and ruthlessly fend for himself, laying the ground for his later argument that living in the ghetto encourages deceit and destruction. Detroit Red has few ethical restraints but many social insights. His philosophy requires that he trust no one, know his enemy well, and carefully defend his public image.

Detroit Red represents the fact that many black people struggle just to survive. In prison, after earning the nickname Satan for his foul temper and preference for solitary confinement, Malcolm starts educating himself and turns his outlook around. His transformation begins when he gives himself up peacefully to a Boston detective, letting five years of street hustling catch up with him.

This episode demonstrates the ideal of submission to moral authority, which Malcolm later embraces in a Muslim context to justify his willing subordination to Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam. His embracing of Islam transforms him from a hustler interested in earning money any way he can into a responsible individual interested in educating and enriching himself.

Malcolms time in prison thus represents the transition between his early years of suffering and deceit and his later years of faith and activism. As Minister Malcolm X, Malcolm develops confidence and credibility as a religious leader and media personality. Malcolm carefully shapes the identity and significance of this persona. As he rises in the ranks of the Nation of Islam to take over from the ailing Elijah Muhammad, the press pays close attention to his philosophies, allowing him to disseminate his message widely.

Although his public statements do not initially depart from the Nation of Islams party line, Malcolm eventually begins to broaden his message to address white America. As the shockvalue media personality Malcolm X, he calls for a more active approach to domestic racial politics, and his influence in American society shows the effectiveness with which he has shaped his persona.

After a trip to Africa, Malcolm X counsels blacks to align themselves with the nonwhite majority internationally, illustrating his general tendency to let the wisdom he gains from his experiences influence his attitudes. Though Malcolm, as El-Shabazz, claims that his rapid turnaround to racial tolerance in Mecca is due to the colorblindness of the Muslim societies of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the events in the autobiography foreshadow Malcolms change of heart.

Malcolms decision to take the title El-Hajj after making the pilgrimage to Mecca a religious duty called hajj in Arabic symbolizes his faith in international Islam. Additionally, his calls for white groups to work for racial justice and his attempts to integrate the struggles of black Americans with the struggles of oppressed nonwhite peoples everywhere reveal how his perspective on race relations has matured.

Whereas Malcolms earlier political activism, such as his militant advocacy of black separatism, is marked by hostility, his later activism seeks to create racial harmony. Malcolms Changing Perspective on Racism Malcolms changing views of Americas racial problems reflect the development of his character.

When, as a child, he sees both of his parents destroyed by white society, he feels despair about the plight of blacks.

His attitude changes, however, after his experiences in the black ghettos of Boston and New York develop in him the philosophy that black people should not accept help from white people. The teachings of the Nation of Islam that he receives in prison effect a further change in both Malcolms character and his view of white people.

He simultaneously abandons his wild past and embraces a systematic hatred of whites. His later travels in the Middle East cause another profound change; his break from the American Nation of Islam coincides with his newfound belief that blacks will be successful in their struggle for equal rights only if they identify with oppressed peoples across the globe. His attitude at the end of the work contrasts with his previous beliefs in that he now supports white participation in the struggle for black emancipation, whereas he earlier does not.

Only after passing through so many phases and seeing the race problem from so many different perspectives is Malcolm able to settle on a philosophy in which he truly believes. The Similarity Between Hustling and Activism Though Malcolm gives up gambling, smoking, and crime while in prison, his experience as an evangelist after prison is similar in ways to his earlier experience as a hustler. Malcolm retains insights, skills, and values from his years as a hustler that serve him in his later role as a religious authority and media personality.

For example, Malcolm uses the knowledge he gains in Harlemto distrust people, to know his enemies, and to craft his public image carefullyin his dealings with the Nation of Islam and with the press. Near the end of his life, Malcolm jokes to a university audience that he took his bachelors degree on the streets of Harlem.

This comment emphasizes the usefulness of the skills that he gained while living a life of hustling. Though he now condemns his former lifestyle, his words show that he appreciates what that lifestyle taught him about how to interact with people effectively. The skills Malcolm uses as a hustler and later as an activist are not developed with these future roles in mind, but rather are built upon the necessary survival skills that Malcolm learned at a young age, emphasizing that life is a matter of survival for the urban black man.

Though Malcolms young life is very different from his adult life, his ability to fight for survival in Americas racist culture is equally important at both stages of his life. The white people around Malcolm often view him as something less than human, and Malcolms desire to correct this perception drives his fight for racial equality. He experiences subtle racism in his youth from his family and school, who treat him differently from others because he is black.

Though his foster parents and some of the people he encounters in school are nice to him, Malcolm thinks these people treat him nicely in order to show how unprejudiced they are. He feels that they are using him because he is different, as though he were a pink poodle. Malcolm in turn dehumanizes certain white people as revenge for his own subjugation. In Boston, he displays his white girlfriend Sophia as a status symbol, viewing her less as a person than as an enviable object that he owns.

However, when after many years of antiwhite rhetoric in the Nation of Islam, Malcolm meets white-skinned people in Mecca who treat him as an equal, he begins to acknowledge the humanity of individual whites. Motifs Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the texts major themes.

Status Symbols In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, characters often associate with other people just to be seen with them, treating them like objects rather than human beings.

The autobiography points out this habit to show how societys hierarchy of status determines our identities and sense of selfworth. Malcolm first experiences this hierarchy when he gets special treatment from his father because he is the lightest-skinned of his siblings.

His fathers preferential treatment illustrates how Malcolms superficial traits, rather than his personality, give him priority within the hierarchy of his family. When Malcolms Michigan foster family treats him as special and his school elects him class president, Malcolm is at first proud but later resentful of being a mascot for white ideals of how blacks should behave.

Neither his school nor his foster family recognizes Malcolm as a person. Rather, they use Malcolms skin color to demonstrate their apparent tolerance and broadmindedness, and thereby gain status for themselves. Malcolm himself uses his white girlfriend Sophia as just such a status symbol, parading her like a new car for his jealous and gawking friends at Boston bars.

Much later, Elijah Muhammad uses Malcolm X as a symbol of the Nation of Islams vitality as well as a strategic resource in growing his organization.

In each case a person is degraded to the status of an object in the service of someone elses social advancement. Travel and Transformation The autobiography links instances of travel and transformation to show the simultaneous physical and spiritual aspects of Malcolms changes.

Malcolm undergoes several quick and total conversions, and each involves first traveling to a distant, confusing place. In his travels, Malcolm is searching for both a home and a philosophy. When he moves to Boston, he quickly absorbs the activities of those around him, taking up lavish street-style zoot suits, marijuana, jazz, gambling, and petty crime. Similarly, in prison he begins to emulate intelligent and reflective prisoners, such as Bibi, and eventually reinvents himself as a worldly individual and devoted Muslim.

When he is expelled from the Nation of Islam and makes the pilgrimage to Mecca, not knowing Arabic or local customs, Malcolm greatly broadens his perspective on race in America by incorporating the wisdom he gains from his experiences into his philosophy.

The period of travel that always precedes Malcolms major conversions shows the influence of Malcolms environment on his worldview and his eagerness for his views to be as informed as possible. Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. The Conk The conk, a popular hairstyle that involves straightening out nappy hair with a host of caustic chemicals, is an emblem of black self-denial.

Blacks conk their hair in an attempt to look more like white people, and their willingness to alter a feature of their body violently underscores how much they want to conceal their blackness.

The conk is popular with rich and poor blacks alike, showing how blacks of all classes experience self-hatred. Though Malcolm conks his hair when he first moves to Boston, in prison he realizes how much mental energy he has been wasting on trying to conform to an impossible image of white good looks. Later, as an orator canvassing on the street, Malcolm criticizes American blacks for trying to change their African features.

He sees the conk as one item in a long list, including faith in Christian religion and obsession with white women, of counterproductive black imitations of white culture. The Watch, Suitcase, and Eyeglasses The wristwatch, suitcase, and eyeglasses that Malcolm downloads upon his release from prison symbolize his commitment as a free man to a career of efficient work, frequent travel to spread the message of Islam, and constant study and reflection.

The watch represents Malcolms industriousness, as he becomes extremely conscious of his daily schedule and organizes his life carefully. The suitcase, which Malcolm begins using in his professional life, represents Malcolms sacrifice of his personal life to his aspirations in the Nation of Islam. The glasses represent his ongoing commitment to the further development of his views as well as his broad vision for the future of black people in America. Malcolm is Earls seventh and lightest-skinned child.

Malcolms mother, Louise Little, is a fair-skinned, educated woman from the island of Grenada. She was conceived when her father, a white man she never knew, raped her mother. Though Louise is able to get domestic work in town by passing as white, she stays at home to cook and clean for her family. When the family moves to Lansing, Michigan, in , another white supremacist group burns down their house. Malcolm says that watching his house burn taught him one of many early lessons about being black in America.

He sees that success for blacks in Lansing means waiting tables or shining shoes rather than working in a respected profession and that the majority of black people are poor and jobless. After a white boy cheats Malcolm out of a hard-earned dollar, Malcolm realizes that the odds are stacked against blacks.

However, Malcolm also learns some positive lessons. After making a fuss at home gets him extra biscuits, Malcolm concludes that the way to get something is to ask for it.Malcolm begins turning down publicity opportunities inLife andNewsweek. Ostrowski is surprised. The draft board summons Malcolm.

Malcolm was a minister in the NOI but had a mind of his own. Though Malcolm conks his hair when he first moves to Boston, in prison he realizes how much mental energy he has been wasting on trying to conform to an impossible image of white good looks. Neither his school nor his foster family recognizes Malcolm as a person. To make ends meet, Malcolm decides to find a new hustle. For I had discovered Muslims had been betrayed by Elijah Muhammad himself.