Malcolm X Essay

2403 Words Jun 12th, 2013 10 Pages
Malcolm X Essay In the beginning of Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm is portrayed as a young man barely surviving on the streets of New York with no goals or direction in life. By the end of the book, Malcolm is well-read, religious, and a goal-oriented, proud black man. The reader can easily observe Malcolm’s transformation in lifestyle and attitude throughout the book. Haley starts the book with Malcolm Little before he discovers the Nation of Islam, and then moves the reader into Malcolm X, the minister, when he discovers the Nation of Islam. The last part of the autobiography is represented in Malcolm’s life after he leaves the Nation of Islam and converts into a mainstream Sunni Muslim. The events that …show more content…
Unfortunately, Malcolm learned at an early age what it was like to live as a black person in a white person’s world. An occurrence of racism directed at Malcolm that changed the way he thought was when Malcolm lived in the detention home with Mr. and Mrs. Swerlin. Both of the Swerlin’s freely used the word “nigger” in Malcolm’s presence. While living at the detention home, Malcolm was exposed to local politicians that enjoyed talking about “niggers”. I think while living at the detention center, Malcolm’s hatred towards the white race increased because of the disrespect Malcolm received. Malcolm makes clear that while living at the detention home “they [the Swerlin’s] never really did see me” (33). In the book, Malcolm recalls a life changing conversation he had with his white English teacher, Mr.Ostrowski. At the age of fifteen, Malcolm’s perception of the white race changed profoundly. When Malcolm told Mr. Ostrowski that he wanted to become a lawyer, Mr. Ostrowski replied, “Malcolm, one of life’s first needs is for us to be realistic…you’ve got to be realistic about being a nigger… think about something you can be.” (43). Connecting to the conversation with his English teacher, Malcolm states “it was then that I began to change-inside” (44). Another crucial example of racial discrimination towards Malcolm was his ten year sentence to jail. Malcolm and Shorty both received the

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