The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a joint work of the journalist Alex Haley and Malcolm X over a period of several years. Alex Haley conducted several lengthy interviews, wrote down the book in the first person and Malcolm X edited the chapters. From page to page, Malcolm X and Alex Haley show us how from drug addiction, to ghetto violence and through a path of conversion, Malcolm X became the hope of the Black (Muslim) Community.
Speaking out to millions of oppressed blacks, he brought new hope and self-respect.
The book actually has come to be seen as an important work of non-fiction in the twentieth century America with several themes which dominate the Cultural and American Studies: Racism, Religion, Gender, Activism, Essentialism, Violence and Dress Code among many others.
Top Quotes From The Autobiography of Malcolm X
In one sense, we were huddled in there, bonded togethher in seeking security and warmth and comfort from each other, and we didn’t know it. All of us – who might have probed space, or cured cancer, or built industries—were, instead, black victims of the white man’s American social system.
People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.
So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.
America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem.
Hence I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight.
I reflected many, many times to myself upon how the American Negro has been entirely brainwashed from ever seeing or thinking of himself, as he should, as a part of the nonwhite peoples of the world.
The ability to read awoke inside of me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.
Why am I as I am? 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.
I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda.…I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.
You will not catch me with a free 15 minutes, in which I’m not studying something that I feel might be able to help the black man. Yesterday I spoke in London , and both ways on the plane across the Atlantic , I was studying. Every time I catch a plane, I have with me a book that I want to read, and that’s a lot of books these days, If I wasn’t out here battling the white man everyday, I could spend the rest of my life reading. Reading changed the course of my life forever. I didn’t go to college, my alma mater was books.
Every Day, I would gamble all of my tips – as high as fifteen and twenty dollars – on the numbers, and dream of what I would do when I hit.
When I sensed that I had the ears of the spies, I would talk and act high and crazy. A lot of Harlem hustlers actually had reached that state – as I would later.
I can give you a very good tip if you want to keep burglars out of your house. a light on for the burglar to see is the very best single means of protection. One of the ideal things is to leave the bathroom light on all night. The bathroom is one place where somebody could be, for any length of time of thenight, and he would be likely to hear the slightest strange sound.
I served a total of seven years in prison. Now, When I try to separate that first year-plus that I spent at Charlestown, it runs all together in a memory of nutmeg and the other semi-drugs, of cursing guards, throwing things out of my cell, balking int helines, dropping my tray in the dining hall, refusing to answer my number – claiming i forgot it – and things like that.
When I had finished the eighth grade back in Mason, Michigan, that was the last time I’d thought of studying anything that didn’t have some hustle purpose. And the streets had erased everything I’d ever learned in school.
“The true knowledge”, reconstructed much more briefly than I received it, was that history had been 2whitened” in the white man’s hisstory books, and that the black man had been “brainwashed for hundred of years”. Original Man was black, in the continent called africa where the human race had emerged on the planet earth.
The ‘Negro’ was taught to worship an alien God having the same blond hair, pale skin and blue eyes as the slavemaster.
I was going through the hardest thing, also the greatest thing, for any human being to do; to accept that which is already within you, and around you.