Malcolm X Essay, Research Paper
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X
Malcolm Little was born on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. At the time of his birth, Malcolm’s father was a Baptist Minister. His mom was a writer of Marcus Garvey. Before he was born, his father had 3 children with his previous marriage and 3 before him with his mom.
Malcolm’s father played a big role in scripting his life from early childhood by the beliefs that he carried and gave to the children by Garvey’s teachings . He taught Malcolm to be a very strong man to be able to provide for himself without any help.
Marcus Garvey was the founder of the U.N.I.A (Universal Negro Improvement Association) which was to raise the banner of black race purity and exhorting the negro masses to return to their ancestral African homeland.
The Ku Klux Klan was a big threat to Malcolm’s family so it forced them to move around quite a bit. Then suddenly one day, Malcolm’s mother and father got into a big dispute that forced Malcolm’s father to go out and take a walk to clear his head. Malcolm’s mom felt very strange and uncomfortable about it. So before he had gone to far, she tried to catch up with him and tell him that she had a bad feeling and for him to come home. So later on that night two policemen came to their house to inform the family that Malcolm’s father had been killed by an train cart. The accident was speculated because it was said that he was forced under the cart for it to hit him by the Klan. This whole ordeal had an very negative impact upon Malcolm’s life growing up.
After the father’s death, the family was forced to be put on welfare. This was very hard for the kids and especially the mother to accept because they were use to the father being the provider, and it went against everything that they were taught by their father. They had welfare personnel coming by to check up on them very often. The mother felt so helpless and was unable to provide and care for the kids like she used to. It was even harder to try to discipline the kids without the father there to enforce the punishments. The welfare department began to take care of the family by providing them with food and clothes. This had both a negative and positive effect on the family by the people trying to provide for the well-being of the family, but it also tore the family apart.
As a result, Malcolm was placed into a detention home and finally went along to live with his half sister Ella in Boston. Malcolm had an teacher whom also had a impact upon his life. This teacher was Mr. Ostrowski, Malcolm’s English teacher. Malcolm’s future career plans was to become a lawyer. The teacher was very surprised that this was something that Malcolm wanted to pursue and he told Malcolm to be realistic and that being a “nigger” that it will never happen. He told Malcolm that since he was so good with his hands, that Malcolm should try carpentry shop work. Malcolm knew that the teacher meant well, but impacted his life negatively.
Prior to entering prison, Malcolm occupations included being a shoe shiner, working at a store serving drinks and ice cream, at the railroad as a Dover Street Yard Loader, and a “fourth cook” and waiter. The incident that led Malcolm going to prison was burglarizing a house that belong to an older white couple, hustling money and drugs, and messing around with a white woman. At that time they were very strict with interracial couples interrelating with one another. So they put him in jail because of it. At this time Malcolm was not quite 21 yet.
While in prison, Malcolm’s siblings introduced him to the Nation of Islam, with the most impact coming from his younger brother Reginald. This introduction became the rest of Malcolm’s life. But impacted it in a positive way. Because of Malcolm not completing school, he enhanced most of his education in prison. That is why he is considered to most people as being an self-educated man.
Malcolm was released from prison in 1952. Prior to his release Malcolm wrote to his brother and to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
Malcolm soon became part of the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Malcolm X. The X was used to replace the slave name of Little which Malcolm says to be the last name of the slave owners.