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Malcolm Little was born in Nebraska in 1925, the seventh child of Reverend Earl Little, a Baptist minister, and Louise Little, a mulatto born in Grenada to a black mother and a white father. Malcolm X quickly grew to hate the society he'd grown up in. After his father was killed, his mother was unfairly denied insurance coverage and his family fell apart. Young Malcolm went from a foster home to a reformatory, to shining shoes in the speakeasies and dance halls of Boston. After getting work as a Pullman porter, he went to New York and fell in love with Harlem. His stint as a drug dealer and petty crook landed him in jail, where he became a devout student of the Nation of Islam and Elijah Muhammad. That was when he figured out that "he could beat the white man better with his mind than he ever could with a club." Malcolm X's subsequent quest for knowledge and equality for blacks led to his unreserved commitment to the liberation of blacks in American society.
What makes this book extraordinary is the honesty with which Malcolm presents his life: Even as he regrets the mistakes he made as a young man, he brings his zoot-suited, swing-dancing, conk- haired Harlem youth to vivid life; even though he later turns away from the Nation of Islam, the strong faith he at one time in that sect's beliefs, a faith that redeemed him from prison and a life of crime, comes through. What made the man so extraordinary was his courageous insistence on finding the true path to his personal salvation and to the salvation of the people he loved, even when to stay on that path meant danger, alienation, and death.
Posted April 12, 2013
I am a high school sophomore that had a research project for my english class. I personally chose Malcolm X because I have always
wanted to learn about him and how inspiring he is for people of color that want to stand up for themselves from racism. I thought this book
was very helpful with the questions that I had to answer and it was very well written. It told me about his whole life and how he began to
become the way he ended up. It talks about from him growing up from an innocent young man living in Lansing, Michigan with a
widowed mother, to dropping out of school and hustling on the streets of Chicago and Harlem, then to jail realizing his fate with the
Nation of Islam, and finally to a new leader for the African American race.This book helped me open my eyes on how African Americans
feel/felt and how badly they were treated by white people but they still looked up to them. Since I am part black, this book made me have
some thoughts that I have never had before about his beliefs. More than just a couple of times I agreed with him because I still see the
issues he talks about when some white people are still thinking they're superior to people of color. It has made a huge impact on me
because it changed the way I think and the way I act. I very much recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning the true
feelings and thoughts of Malcolm X.
7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This is my favorite book of any genre, both fiction and nonfiction. It is the greatest piece of literature of the 20th Century. It is the greatest piece of African American literature of all time. It gives you a different perspective on politics, crime, religion and history. This is not a piece to which one has to agree. As a matter of fact, it is not a piece by which one has to abide by the standards therein. Rather, this is a work of art that compels to reader to indulge in the lost art of thinking. READ THIS BOOK!
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Posted September 10, 2010
Show me a book that should be required reading for every student and I will show you a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska (a city not really known for its African American culture) Malcolm Little and his family were forced to leave after a confrontation with the KKK.
As a young man barely able to read or write, Malcolm becomes a theif, a hustler and eventually a prisoner. While in prison he becomes mesmerized by the teachings of a man called Elijah Mohammed, head of the Nation of Islam, a religious sect of Islam that caters to the plight of African Americans during the mid 20th Century.
After reading his way through what was effectively a Ph.D in prison, Malcolm becomes the number two man in the Nation of Islam and the most rhetorical voice of social change in America- an honor that would cause him to be demonized by Whites and Blacks alike.
Published posthumously,(Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965 by members of the Nation of Islam who most likely cohorts of the FBI) this book is definitive work on race realtions without it being a text book per se. It also inspired the author, Alex Haley, to write his most famous novel Roots.
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Posted September 11, 2012
...malcom x made a reversal that brought tension into the movement ( nation od islam)...his leader ( elijah. muhammed) felt discomfort / fear that malcolm was going to expose his lessons...almost all of the memebers of the NOI hated malcolm -- why such fear / hate, when IN REALITY, malcolm was only expressing his mind ? it's clear that elijah helped malcolm...it's just an clear ( clearer) that his perception changed ( * the student become clever then the teacher - nothing wrong with that. BUT, whenever the teacher(s) feel discomfort ( by an astute student / sharp reasoning / clever questions etc. u know the type)), one knows that something is WRONG ( * the teacher is hidding something ?)...long story short : malcolm saw what many of the NOI failed to see --- extreme afrocentrism / blacksupremacy ( in essence like the ahyan race)...this book serves well for anyone that's interesting in the careen theories of the NOI. why / how malcolm saw its clear flaws / the trickery of incongruous "leaders" using scipture to further beguile distressed minds...a lucid / heavy read.
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Posted April 22, 2009
"Beautifully written, Alex Haley's interviews perfectly capture what it must have been like to sit down and talk with one of the most important civil rights activist in American history.  A must read for anyone tired of the dry descriptions of the civil rights movement in America we all learn about in textbooks."
The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the gripping story of one of America's most important figures in African American history.  His story shows not only the atrocities committed against people of color in the early 20th century, it shows that even the most hardened of people can still overcome old prejudices.  For the majority of Malcolm's all to short life, he hated white people.  It wasn't just blind hatred, he had reason to hate white people. After all, white people murdered his father. White people pressured his widowed mother so much, she went insane and was thrown into an asylum. White people taught him he was inferior and gave him a religion that reinforced that feeling.  This book expertly chronicles his many travels and the affects that the places he lived in and visited had on him. In Omaha, Nebraska he quickly learned of racism and the price you could pay for speaking out against it. In Boston, he was educated in worldly ways and the easy money of criminal activity. In the concrete jungle of Harlem he learned to thieve, hustle, deal drugs, and avoid the law. Unfortunately for him, running the streets of Harlem caught up with him when he cheated a man out of his money and nearly got himself murdered. After being hunted and almost put six feet under he returned to Boston. There, after years of preparation in Harlem, he set up a major robbery ring. But you can't run from fate your whole life and after years of breaking the law he was arrested and convicted of masterminding a house-robbing ring. He was sentenced to 8-10 years. This book has Malcolm X reflecting on the bleak outlook of his life if he had not gone to prison. He even goes so far as to declare that if he hadn't gone to jail he would have ended up as just another dead black kid on the side of the street. I loved how he really went in depth and described his transformation while incarcerated. When he first arrived in prison he earned the nickname Satan from his fellow inmates for his temper and actions. Then one day, his little brother came to visit him and told him of an organization called the nation of Islam. Soon after, other relatives start to visit and tell him about the same organization. He becomes very interested and starts to read up on religion and the new American version of Islam. He became so interested he began to correspond with the leader of The Nation of Islam. While in prison he takes a life-changing step and commits his life to Islam. Malcolm X emerges from prison a completely changed man. The book expertly details his transformation from hardened criminal to motivated and dedicated Muslim. Reading about him turning his life around is like watching a flower blossom. You know he's been searching for this his whole life and now he finally has found a meaning in life. However, this is far from the end of his story. In my opinion the most important point in this book happens after Malcolm's release from prison. Unfortunately, he has a falling out with The Nation of Islam leader and converts to traditio
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Posted January 3, 2009
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This book is sure to have a tremendous impact on you. <BR/><BR/>Growing up in NYC in the 70's, I can remember seeing the so-called "Black Muslims" all over downtown Brooklyn and upper Manhattan. Sometimes they would scare me because they were so militant and angry. But after talking to schoolmates who grew up in that religion, I came to realize why they were so angry. Malcolm X was a fixture of New York culture and yet I had never read his book--until now. <BR/><BR/>His message of self-sufficiency and pride was timely. The black community needed to hear Malcolm X even if they weren't ready for his message. He articulated frustration without compromise. The best part of the book for me was when he went to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage and learned what he called "True Islam." This helped him to widen his perspective and abandon his "reverse racism." <BR/><BR/>The book is profound and you will be completely absorbed when you read it whether or not you agree with his philosophies. I shuddered at his "White Devil" rhetoric, but I understood where he was coming from. His was a legacy of oppression and self-loathing resulting from generations of racism. It made me sad that he was killed before he was able to integrate his broader version of the Islam faith with his more tolerant views of human rights. <BR/><BR/>I couldn't sleep after finishing it. It was that profound.
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Posted March 10, 2013
This is by far one of the best books I've ever read . At first i was just doing it because it was a project but over time the book really just kept pulling and grabbing my attention. You can really feel the trials and tribulations that Malcolm X had set against him , but he stepped up to the plate and handled things like a man. After reading this book i really see the world with a different set of eyes. Everyone after the age of 10 should read this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 7, 2013
The book was phenomenal. Malcolm X and Alex Haley did a phenominal job and you could tell Malcolm X wanted the world to know who he really was and not just the violence advocator he presumed to be by the media. This novel will challenge you in many ways and you will be left looking at the world very differently. I would recommend this book to every American.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 26, 2012
It's amazing how little I knew and how much I thought I knew about the man behind the quotable speeches. This book truly opened my eyes to the world he lived in and I grew to admire his bravery and wisdom. People often view him as the man who was full of anger, but when you read this book you see why. He evolved through the pages as a man who was willing to accept his mistakes and grow. He never did get to go to college like he wanted, but he was far before his time or like his daughter said "We were just late."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 15, 2012
A book that will forever change my views on life. The autobiography of Malcom X took me into a world that I had never known, only heard about. It captured the racial tensions and militant nature of the black Muslim movement in a very real way that someone merely telling you could never hope to accomplish. This is a must read for people of all different races and religions as it will broaden your view of the world, and let you see through the eyes of a very controversial man. His story is that of redemption, reaching out and touching me. There are parts that jolted me as a reader, and that I had very strong disagreements to, but the read was so real and worth it. All in all a milestone read I would recommend to any one looking to have their life changed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2012
Recognizing that the NOI under the leadership of Elijah Mohammed was both inspired and bankrupt, Malcolm X remains one of the most inspiring figures in American history. In particular, his evolution still remains a conversation for African Americans of all generations.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Is this how it should feel?
The Autobiography of Malcolm X was completely inspiring. As the story start off there is a definite understanding of the terror Malcolm was introduced to since he was in his mother’s womb. From visits from the Klu Klux Klan, his father dying, his mother being put into a mental hospital and turning into a hustler, his life starts to spin out of control. Racism is a huge factor in this book, it pretty much weaves itself all throughout the autobiography. The message to this theme would be pin pointed to the malicious decisions that were made during Malcolm’s life time. Another theme would be the effects of the choices you made, this serves a roll from being an innocent child to growing up and becoming a hustler/ burglar. Societal views are also a major theme, with how Malcolm starts to perceive his live and how “blacks” should act and therefore become. I liked this book because it enlightened me about what actually happened to some if not most black families. I also liked it because it was real- it really happened, it was all facts and you didn’t have to question if it really happened or not. I also liked this book because Malcolm was not perfect and he so vividly describe what happened, you almost felt as if you were a part of his story. I had no real dislikes to this book, except that it used lots of slang words I had no idea what they meant. It would have been nice if there was a dictionary in the back of the book. I think this book is meant for certain people – if you’re not interested in discrimination, hurt, and hustling you probable shouldn’t read this book. Although it is long it is a powerful read. It gives you the opportunity to see in to his memory and “be him” for a little bit. I would rate this about a 4 its not something I would have picked up to read if I wasn’t required but I’m glad I did. The first chapter was so real and capturing you just had to go on. It had me realize just how brutal it must have been to be black in that era of time.
Posted December 14, 2011
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (466 pgs.) is amazing. This book gave us, the reader, a look through his eyes and what he went through when he was a child and as he grew up. I couldn't put this book down. I admire how strong he stayed throughout what he went through.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2011
Posted August 24, 2011
The idea of reading an autobiography of Malcolm X would probably never have crossed my mind, but with nothing to read on my vacation at a campground and most of the books on the rec-hall shelf being silly romance novels, this was the only thing that looked interesting. What a stroke of luck that turned out to be! Malcolm X was assasinated when I was too young to remember and what I knew about his life was very general. This book gives the reader an in depth picture of his life and particularly what shaped his views from a very young child. Though I don't agree with everything he believed in, I could understand why he felt the way he did about many things and came to have a better understanding about what it must have been like to live during his time. The only thing I never understood was his very misogynistic viewpoints. I would think he would have more empathy for women, especially black women, after what he had been through. However,he changed his mind about many things during his life, and I can't help but wonder if he had lived, if his views toward women would have mellowed some as well. This book is well worth the read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The movie by Spike Lee was good, but the book is even better. This is a great insight into Malcolm X's thought and life. It gave me a shot in the arm in terms of my self-esteem as an Afro-American man.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 12, 2010
Possibly the book I've ever read. Its so inspiring and empowering. It makes me mad that I was born after him time. Absolutely one of those books you must read before you die. And don't get lazy! Read the epilogue too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 21, 2010
that about sums it up for me. the media has done a job on the man we know as Malcom X. and most of the stuff put out there has not been good. this book was not sugar coated. he keeps it real and regaurdless of anyone's opinion of him, after reading this book that opinion will be changed or at least altered. i highly recommend this book. i've read it a minimum of 6 times!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 26, 2009
Posted December 8, 2009
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An intimate look at the life of the most fierce advocate of rights for blacks. Malcolm X exemplifies fortitude to the highest degree. His willingness to risk his safety for the sake of his ideals and integrity bespeak complete selflessness. Eloquently written, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" is provocative, enlightening, and inspiring.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.