🎰 The Autobiography of Malcolm X Analysis | Shmoop

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Our first Hair History story comes from Civil Rights Leader Malcolm X. While he needs This is also known as lye or a relaxer to modern times.


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Insisting that only a black director could tell Malcolm X's story, Spike Lee Baines reprimands him for trying to look like a white man by putting relaxer in his hair.


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Malcolm X recalls having his hair conked for the first time in his George E. Johnson developed chemical straightener, or “relaxer,” which was.


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Plus, try any one Creme of Nature Hair Relaxer or Color - FREE with mail-in rebate. After reading the book, The Autobiography Of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley​.


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Malcolm X describes how he and his friend, Shorty, conked their hair. hair to have it chemically straightened using a relaxer (sometimes pure lye), so that the.


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Malcolm X recalls having his hair conked for the first time in his George E. Johnson developed chemical straightener, or “relaxer,” which was.


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MALCOLM X Behind every great quote is a great story. with naturally "kinky" hair to have it chemically straightened using a relaxer (sometimes pure lye), so.


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What needs to be continually taught is that Malcolm X was a man who, through a mere 39 years, evolved intellectually and spiritually in a manner that.


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Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable Viking In the ongoing quest for the locks of Lena Horne, a chemical relaxer was an.


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Insisting that only a black director could tell Malcolm X's story, Spike Lee Baines reprimands him for trying to look like a white man by putting relaxer in his hair.


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He predicts his own death and even what will happen after it. Malcolm X did tell his own story, but everyone knows that you can completely change a story just by changing how you tell it. The humorous tone that creeps into the narrative every now and then gives us a peek into the softer, more human side of this famous man. The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the result of over 50 interviews between Malcolm X and Alex Haley that occurred between and While Malcolm X provided the memory and the base material, Alex Haley wrote, compiled, and edited the book. Since it was basically a collaboration with Alex Haley, we are not sure if you could say the book is a "true" autobiography. Well, let's just say that it was a collaboration between the two. Think it'll catch on? There is no doubt that it couldn't be anyone but him telling this story. It's just kind of… complicated. If the autobiography were told in a different tone, leaders would be confused. In some ways, Malcolm was just one small part of a global movement working toward equal rights and opportunities for Africans and members of the African diaspora. The story can veer straight from a recollection of Malcolm X's childhood into a political diatribe. Looking at that list of genres, you're probably wondering if we forgot the definitions of autobiography and biography. What do we think? It could be a new category, the collabo-biography. It's actually kind of creepy how correct his premonitions were. Nonviolent boycotts, sit-ins, and marches such as the March on Washington are some of the most famous examples of the nonviolent resistance preached by leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. Even though it might seem insignificant, the very last line of the book has meaning too. So, who is the real author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X? This gives us the feeling that we are listening to his real thoughts. By praising Allah for all of the things that have gone well, Malcolm both cements his dedication to Islam and reiterates his selflessness. The first is with the word autobiography. Many people still consider Malcolm X a violent, fringe, black nationalist leader. You only get action as a black man if you are regarded by the white man as "irresponsible. Movements were happening all over the world at the same time. And if I can die having brought any light, having exposed any meaningful truth that will help to destroy the racist cancer that is malignant in the body of America—then, all of the credit is due to Allah. Well, if you're like most people, you've probably heard of Malcolm X but you might have been unfamiliar with El Hajji Malik El Shabazz until now. MLK's message was just one of many that, ultimately, all had the same goal: Stop the oppression of African Americans. The mostly serious and blunt tone of The Autobiography of Malcolm X gives us the feeling that we are listening to Malcolm X deliver one of his rousing and powerful speeches. Either way, it's important to remember that The Autobiography is not just a factual account of Malcolm X's life. Yes, I have cherished my "demagogue" role. And since I have been some kind of a "leader" of black people here in the racist society of America, I have been more reassured each time the white man resisted me, or attacked me harder—because each time made me more certain that I was on the right track in the American black man's best interests. For example if, instead of mirroring Malcolm X's speech, the story were told in a high literary style we would probably think that it was inauthentic. You watch. It gets kind of intense. Even though Malcolm X was an internationally renowned black rights activist, he wasn't unique. He just says it like it is. Instead of telling a story, it appears that Malcolm X is talking directly to the reader. Remember that The Autobiography of Malcolm X is an autobiography. However, other black nationalist groups also advocated violence if necessary to achieve their goals. So, just giving us more of what we see when we read about Malcolm X or watch him on TV is not enough. The problem comes in with Alex Haley. In the last two paragraphs of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the tone suddenly changes. I know that societies often have killed the people who have helped to change those societies. But he also says that being attacked like that is proof that he has done something right. I have always felt about this accusation that the black "leader" whom white men consider to be "responsible" is invariably the black "leader" who never gets any results. That would be Pan-Africanism.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} This should be super easy. Most Americans will be pretty familiar with this one. Only the mistakes have been mine. The racist white man's opposition automatically made me know that I did offer the black man something worthwhile. Reading the book after his death, we are forced to think about his assassination when looking at these final moments. While he may not convince us that he's totally innocent, these words at least force us to reevaluate all of the things that we have been told about Malcolm X. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. We feel like we're at a rally! He says that he will be vilified as an irresponsible and violent black man who preached hatred. You kind of have to crack up when he says: "The roads offered the wildest drives that I had ever known: nightmare traffic, brakes squealing, skidding cars, and horns blowing. The second problem is the name Malcolm X. We see how each of the experiences he has, even the negative ones, come together to create the man known in history as Malcolm X. The media continued to call El Hajji Malik El Shabazz by his former name and continued to speak about his prior beliefs even after he returned from Mecca. Come on in here! But how does humor fit into all of this? We follow Malcolm from before he's even born all the way into the final years of his life. While part of the reason he was kicked out of the Nation of Islam was because others thought he was self-important, even in his own autobiography he does not congratulate himself for his victories. He does not believe in MLK's nonviolent methods, and thinks that more action is needed before anything significant will actually be achieved for African American people. The black man in North America was sickest of all politically. The final lines express his hope that he has helped black people even a teeny tiny bit and praises Allah for everything that has gone right in his life. How do you think he would've felt about that? He let the white man divide him into such foolishness as considering himself a black "Democrat," a black "Republican," a black "Conservative," or a black "Liberal". An autobiography is the tale of someone's life told in their own words, and a biography is the tale of someone's life told by someone else. Think about it. This is just one of many examples:. Why use that name? This looks like it should be a pretty straightforward case, but there are two big problems with the title. Even though Haley does a pretty good job of making you believe that he just wrote down whatever Malcolm said, that's not quite the case, so don't fall for it. That's basically the definition of a coming-of-age story. By the end of his life, however Malcolm was more interested in something more global than the Civil Rights Movement, which would only help African descendants in the United States. For more on that, check out the " Genre " section. Just like in his speeches, Malcolm X doesn't shy away from racial or controversial topics. Not quite. So that's the name and image of him that went down in history, even in his own autobiography. If you go by content, obviously Malcolm X is the one who provided his life story, and had final say in the approval of the manuscript. And even though his religion has changed from the beliefs of the Nation of Islam, he obviously is still sincere in his devotion to Allah. Plus, after Malcolm got through with his version of the story, Alex Haley got a turn at creating the Malcolm X he saw. But there is also another side that we are shown: Malcolm X's humorous side. Don't worry, we didn't. The word autobiography is even in the title. You get to feel like you are best pals and he's just sitting around joking with you. If you go by hours, Alex Haley is the author because he spent many years editing, rewriting, changing names, deleting, and adding information to the book. This movement that began in the s attempted to gain legal equality for African Americans. See the problem? {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. If you were telling your life story, wouldn't you emphasize the good stuff and downplay the bad? But let's start with the easy stuff. I will be labeled as, at best, an "irresponsible" black man. I believe that all of the driving in the Holy Land is done in the name of Allah " There's no way he said that with a straight face. There's no doubt that The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a coming-of-age story.