Although I have much knowledge of Malcolm X, I thought it would be very beneficial/influential, and or a very educational experience if I were to revisit his history, and his strong ideology on many of the problems that were existent and are still very much present in today's world. This book was originally published in 1965, and so far I’ve read up to a total of 40 pages. The major characters that were introduced so far in the book are: Malcolm Little, his mother Louise Little, and his father Earl Little.
Considering Significance, in chapters 1-3 Malcolm discusses his early life in school, and the various things he had experienced. One of the many things that puzzled me so far was how many of the blacks that he had schooled with were completely desensitized from their own selves, what I mean by this is how whenever anyone of different color stated the “N” word, many of the black kids that Malcolm has known wouldn’t care and feel as if it was completely normal or even right at times. Malcolm knew that the people who utilized that word most likely weren’t aware of the true meaning, or the offensive connotation that was present. This scene made me furious, because this is the main reason why something so irrational such as racism is existent today, how the majority of the population that uses such negative connotations can’t even come to the realisation of what the true meaning is, and is thus passed down to our newer generations due to lackluster of education and or proper nurturing to our young.
Today I’ll be analyzing various literary conventions in which I personally felt were extremely important for the overall plot of the story, and showed great amount of significance due to the way it was presented to the readers. One page which contained prominent information was page 88 - 89. Personally this page caught my attention due to the amount of detail in which Malcolm X had explained Harlem, as well as the overall length of the explanation was truly shocking. “but Harlem’s residential areas from best to worst, from sugar Hill up near the Polo Grounds, where many famous celebrities lived, down to the slum blocks of old rat-trap apartment houses, just crawling with everything you could mention that was illegal and immoral. Dirt, garbage cans overflowing or kicked over; drunks, dope addicts, beggars. Sleazy bars, store-front churches with gospels being shouted inside, “bargain” stores, hock shops, undertaking parlors. Greasy “home-cooking” restaurants, beauty shops smoky inside from Negro women’s hair getting fried barbershops advertising conk experts.” All of these specific details were presented to the readers for a reason, I believe that Malcolm X wanted to put the readers in a specific mindset which revolved around the corruption, and the process of desensitization that had taken place amongst various blacks during the time due to the harsh conditions in which they had experienced. Indoctrination was also very apparent with many of the blacks living within that community (Malcolm is a perfect example) after all, shorty (Malcolm’s closest friend) was the one who introduced Malcolm to this society and made it look like one big hustle rather than a corrupt society that was in a deep stage of degradation, and housed those who were both mentally, and spiritually deprived.
Various passages/quotes that I’ve came across in Malcolm X are those that relate to me in many ways. I chose these passages/quotes in order to develop a message towards the readers of this essay. The first passage/quote I found was in chapter 19, (during his travel to the middle east) it’s a quote which consists of multiple interpretations, which is why I chose it. “It is only after slavery and prison that the sweetest appreciation of freedom can come. ” Malcolm X was most likely making an attempt to enunciate himself to the readers on how life will never become simple or easy without hardship or struggle as the initial. Either a mental or physical test will come at hand in some point in your life, whether you’re prepared or not. Another interpretation includes more analytical research rather than common knowledge or practicality, one source which I used for this contains information regarding the incarceration rate of black’s during the 60s to late 90s. According to one website, Pew Research) the incarceration rate for blacks increased from 10% from 1980 (ages 24-30) to 30% in 2000! Perhaps Malcolm X was literal when he spoke of going to prison due to the fact that the risk of becoming imprisoned increased overtime. Another passage which I found to be quite eloquent was due to the fact that it also consisted of many possible interpretations. “This was my first lesson about gambling: if you see somebody winning all the time, he isn't gambling, he's cheating. Later on in life, if I were continuously losing in any gambling situation, I would watch very closely.” (pg 20) My first analysis of this quote was simple, I just believed that Malcolm X had a strong history in gambling during his youth and was simply stating that the possibility of someone being constantly triumphant in a game designed for “losing more than you gain,” is outrageous. Personally my second interpretation of this quote is appealing to me, the reason for this is because when Malcolm X states: “Later on in life, if I were continuously losing in any gambling situation, I would watch very closely.” Malcolm X could be describing a lot of things, real gambling? Life itself being a gamble? These are the questions that engulf my mind when I read this quote. What I truly believe is that Malcolm X is stating how life itself is a big gamble, and the fact that he says “later on in life” could also refer to his conversion, and his education of how individuals should live their life with honesty, integrity, and learn to make change if failure is to a certain extent. For example, if I were to constantly fail assessments due to not studying then that most likely means that it’s detrimental for me to study in order to succeed, in this case I would need to watch very closely of my actions in order to succeed. Malcolm X teaches us how those who constantly succeed are either dishonest wicked people, or are people who have learned how to make a beneficial change and closely look upon their own life as well.
This last Journal entry will include the setting of the ending of the autobiography of Malcolm X. The ending of both Malcolm X and the book was truly heartbreaking and gruesome. In February 21, 1965 in front of hundreds of people Malcolm X was giving his last, and final speech in Audubon Ballroom in New York City. He was assassinated in front of his own family, his wife, Betty Shabazz, and 4 of his 6 children had witnessed this repulsive crime against humanity itself. Malcolm X was shot and killed, his final words before his death was "Go on, get out. Last words are for fools who haven't said enough." Malcolm X in my mind was a true hero, what disgusts me is how in today’s society many regard Malcolm X as a radical Muslim who went against the government, when in reality he wasn’t hostile towards the government at all, but spoke the truth in a fiery manner which touched people's hearts and made them curious about life and its morals, which is what they don’t want the people to seek in today’s society. The problem with our society today is that most of these values have been replaced with materialistic ideology, buy this, buy that, don’t think smoke this, drink that, etc. You can most certainly tell that this ideology has worked the way it was designed to be created if all our young think about is social media, and politics. What the new generation needs to do is to first off, open their minds and think on their own instead of trying to be like the norm, what i’m trying to say is that our young need to educate themselves as well and, they need to think and grow themselves both mentally and spiritually. An unquestionable life is a life not worth living, and how you end doesn’t matter, but what you left behind for the world to make a difference does.