November 27, 2022


The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Quick book review of The Autobiography of Malcolm X

“The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” as told to Alex Haley. This book grabbed my attention after witnessing multiple civil rights activists carrying out protests. My father heavily recommended the book, he also provided me with the book. After only reading a few pages, my goal looked to be completed: gaining more insight about the societal relations between races before, after and during the civil rights movement.

Malcolm’s early life was busy. His father was a dark, passionate man. He often led ‘black society’ movements. Malcolm’s mother was a light skinned woman; having both white and black backgrounds. Malcolm was also lighter skinned, because of this, he was treated differently by both parents. Because of his lighter skin, his father seemed to favor him, while his mother seemed be disappointed in him, by just his skin. As the figure that Malcolm’s father was, he was pursued by many white, racist groups. He was later found dead in the streets from a reported suicide, but chances are, that it was murder. The death of Malcolm’s father affected the family deeply, but not as much as Malcolm’s mother. She spiraled into craziness and Malcolm, along with his siblings, were sent into the foster care system. While separated from both parents, Malcolm found peace by trying to ‘integrate’ into white society, but he later found that this was meaningless, for both him as an individual and the African American race.

The writing in this book is most comparable to a journal. The reader can experience Malcolm’s feelings as an outcast. There are first-hand experiences that Malcolm had that give us insight of society before the civil rights movement. This worries me as well. The microaggresions described can be found in society’s present. There is evidence of progression, but still remnants of a racist America. By studying the philosophy of MLK Jr. and Malcolm X, society can keep moving in the right direction.

“It has historically been the case with white people, in their regard for black people, that even though we might be with them, we weren’t considered of them.” (Malcolm X, p16)