Essay on Homeboy by Malcolm X

936 Words May 5th, 2013 4 Pages
Modes Essay: “Homeboy” by Malcolm X In “Homeboy”, Malcolm X, a prominent leader during the Civil Rights era, discusses discrimination within the black community itself through the use of thoughtful imagery, eloquent diction, and symbolism throughout the essay. As Malcolm X describes the racial prejudice currently within the black community in his new home, he uses imagery to accurately portray the glaring discrepancies between the “ghetto” blacks and the Hill “elite.” For example, when he describes the arrogance and misguided haughtiness the Hill elite possess, he states that “foreign diplomats could have modeled their conduct on the way the Negro postmen...acted, striding around…” (Malcolm X 196). This comparison shows how prideful …show more content…
They were, in reality, no better than the people they considered low-class blacks, yet acted as if they were a part of the elite upper-class. Malcolm X’s diction, with the usage of words that exemplify the arrogance and snobbishness of the native New Englanders, helps to display the blatant irony and hypocrisy within the black community. Malcolm X, also, describes his own feelings of shock by stating “it has never ceased to amaze me how so many Negroes...could stand the indignity of that kind of self-delusion” (Malcolm X 207). He uses strong words to convey the divide within the black community itself, even though these blacks are already facing discrimination from whites. Their divide is, in essence, idiotic to Malcolm X, although he did participate in some of it as a young man, wanting to “fit in.” Through the use of his diction, Malcolm X is able to portray the strong prejudice and disgust within the black community; rather than being united against outside racial discrimination, the blacks themselves are perpetuating prejudice. Finally, Malcolm X incorporates heavy symbolism throughout his essay to further support his point of racial prejudice. The most obvious symbol is the “conk” hairstyle, which was a hairstyle that was extremely popular among the black community to further assimilate themselves with white culture. The process was extremely painful, and involved a

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