Title: The Autobiography of Malcolm X as Told to Alex Haley
Link to Amazon.com: The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley
I was interested to read this autobiography because of a book titled "Impossible Man", story of life of Michael Muhammad Knight, who read Malcolm X's autobiography upon a friend's suggestion, who was so inspired by the book that then he embraced Islam, and even further studied Islam in Pakistan, although for some reasons he had later said his goodbye to Islam.Link to Amazon.com: Impossible ManSummary of Malcolm X's life in this book:
- Born on May 19, 1925 as Malcolm Little
, he spent his childhood years in Lansing, Michigan. His father, Earl Little, a Baptist minister, was murdered allegedly by white supremacist group, and this made her his mother suffered from mental breakdown and sent to an institution; around 1937, Malcolm and some of his siblings was to leave their home and stayed at different houses.
- For a trouble he had with a teacher he was expelled and moved to a detention home in Mason, Michigan. He then studied at Mason Junior High School, good grades and even elected as a class president. A turning point was when a teacher told him to be realistic in his career plan, to consider maybe carpentry instead of his dream to become a lawyer. He then drew away from white people and after finishing eight grade he moved to Boston to live with his half sister in 1940.
- In Boston he was attracted to the town ghetto section, get a shoeshine job at a dance ballroom, exposed to the night life and enjoyed dancing so much; he was known as Red
(for his reddish hair). In 1941, his sister, who disliked the things going on with him in Boston, found him a job in a Boston-to-New York train as a dishwasher and later a sandwich man.
- He later settled in Harlem, New York, working as a waiter in a restaurant, where he was exposed to experts in crime: drug peddlers, those involved in numbers industry (lottery), pimps, thieves and burglars. He eventually involved and did all crimes he learned from those experts. He was then known at as Detroit Red
(for he was from Michigan and Detroit's more well-known than Lansing), and finally was caught for burglary and got ten-year sentence in 1946.
- And so began the prison episode of his life. He was called Satan
for his anti-religious behavior, but later was introduced to Nation of Islam by his siblings who learned about Islam being the natural religion for the black man (Islam in the version of Nation of Islam). This Nation of Islam was founded by Elijah Muhammad who was appointed as prophet by Mr. Wallace D. Fard, the "Allah in Person". Nation of Islam's important belief is that Original Man was black and all white people are the devils (originally created by black scientist in the past). The devil white men then had murdered and kidnapped, brought many black men to the West and enslaved them and cut them from all knowledge of their own kind, their language, religion and past culture. It's in the Nation's belief that Christian religion was injected to the black men as a curse, to teach them to worship an alien God with the same pale skin, blond hair and blue eyes as the slavemasters, to brainwash the black men that white men are superior. These teachings affected Malcolm so much, it's so easy for him to accept them as truth from all his experiences living as black man in America. He read a lot in prison and wrote letters to Elijah Muhammad.
- After being released from jail on parole in 1951, he formally joined Nation of Islam, received his "X" that symbolized his lost true African name, so he became Malcolm X
. He was then appointed by Elijah Muhammad as minister, active in recruiting members and building the Nation's temples (later called mosques) in some cities. As the Nation became larger, it got more media attention, and Malcolm X was like a spokesperson for the Nation talking to the media, academic institutions, and talking at rallies. Nation of Islam's followers were known as Black Muslims.
- In 1963 Elijah Muhammad expelled Malcolm X from the Nation for his comment on JFK assassination. But Malcolm X believed that the real reason for it was his discovery that Elijah Muhammad had been betraying Nation of Islam by conducting adultery. Since then he got constant death threats. He then formed Muslim Mosque, Inc., an organization aiming to eliminate political oppression, economic exploitation and social degradation suffered by Afro-Americans.
- In 1964 he made the pilgrimage to Mecca, which transformed his belief. He was touched by the spirit of brotherhood practiced by people of all colors and races in the Holy Land. He met muslims from all over the world, he met white muslims as well. That changed his former belief that all white men are the devils. He wrote about this experience to America, his "Letter from Mecca", signing it with his Islam name: El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
. (He later confirmed Muslim Mosque Inc.'s religious affiliation with mainstream Islam). He met important persons from the Islam and Africa World. He then visited Lebanon, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Morocco and Algiers. He realized that there need to be communications between the independent nations of Africa an the American black people. In 1965 he again visited Middle East and Africa.
- February 21, 1965, he was assassinated while speaking at a rally at Audubon Ballroom, New York. Some allegedly Black Muslims were indicted for his murder.Additional Facts:
Elijah Muhammad died in 1975, and soon after his son Wallace or Waarith Deen Mohammed renamed the organization "The World Community of Al-Islam in the West" (became the American Society of Muslims and rejected his father's theology and accepted whites as fellow worshipers and forged closer ties with mainstream Islam. Later in 1978 Nation of Islam was revived by Louis Farrakhan.Link to Amazon.com: The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley