Good Book

Book Review: Remembering Malcolm X. Autobiography of Malcolm X as told by Alex Hailey

Review by Alagi Yorro Jallow.

“Never ask a woman about other men; either she will tell you a lie, and you will not still know, or if she tells you the truth, you might not have wanted to hear it in the first place. I have learned enough about women to know not to pressure them when they are thinking something out. They will tell you when they are ready.”~ Autobiography of Malcolm X as told by Alex Hailey, Pg. 68- 71.

Fatoumatta: Why do I recommend this particular book? I read books that pop up in my conversations with other book lovers and those books I have read or reviews I read. Once upon a time, a friend carried me in his vehicle, and while driving, he started a chat about Malcolm X with the other two friends in the car. He talked about Malcolm X hyperbolically that I sensed he was lying. I did not contribute to that conversation because I had read much about Malcolm X from different authors. That evening, I went to my basement. From my small library, I grabbed an old copy of Malcolm X’s Autobiography: As Told to Alex Haley and reread the book. Please read it.

To make a long story short, the conversations I heard in that vehicle were hearsays. I am amazed at how people pick bits of information (usually correct) but misrepresent the facts. Reading is good. Reading informs you. Reading can give you 360° knowledge about a person, a subject, or some object. On page 175 of the book, Malcolm explains what reading can do to a person.

” Many today hear me in person, or television, or those who read something I have said will think I went to school far beyond the eighth grade. This impression is due entirely to my studies in prison. “Three important quick points to note:• You must purpose as a person to read. It is one way of getting information. However, you have got to read what is relevant.• Even after reading, you must never overlook the importance of discussions with knowledgeable people.• More than reading, have an interest in the things around you that matter and take note of the happenings in other countries. (Has your bae commented on the two elections that have filled the social media conversations: Uganda and the USA?).

Back to Malcolm X. was Born May 19th, 1925, in Nebraska to a baptized minister, Rev. Earl Little, and Louise Little. Earl later died in a road accident, and Louise was sent to an insane asylum. The two events caused Malcolm and his siblings to live with foster families. I will not review the book, ‘The autobiography of Malcolm X’ as told by Alex Hailey. Still, I will try to summarize his life’s critical aspects.

Malcolm X’s life can be analyzed from three perspectives, represented by the three names he used in his life. Malcolm Little; Malcolm X; Malcolm the pilgrim.1. Malcolm Little: a midwestern black home product, a home later torn apart by a father’s death.2. Malcolm X: After his conversion in line with Islam nation tradition, he replaces his surname, Little, with an X, and his life at this stage makes him a symbol of Blackman’s hatred of the White man.3. Malcolm the Pilgrim: Even after conversion, he still retains his fiery oratory of the preaching period but desperately seeks reconciliation due to racial problems in America.

In the book, the first phase of his life comes out as a man of uncompromising honesty to himself and his readers. He narrates the degrading bit of truth about his life of crime. He describes his life as a robber in Harlem, a Dopo peddler, and a bootlegger. A true Hustler. His elevation above that life makes his life seem miraculous.

Reading through the autobiography, his second phase of life describes his life after conversion as a Muslim. After his release from prison, he rises to become a powerful man in the nation of Islam. He becomes a minister of Boston Temple No. 11 before leading the church of Harlem. In 1952 he met Elijah Muhammad in Chicago. The latter named him the National representative, becoming the second in rank after Muhammad himself. The third phase of his life is described in the book as having occurred after his pilgrimage to Mecca. He works hard and reaches the possibility of reconciliation of the races. He travels in Africa and emphasizes the importance of black people in the world.

Malcolm is presented as reflective, passionate, and visionary in his personality, about his death. On February 21st, 1965, Malcolm X is assassinated while on stage during an organization of Afro-American Unity meeting. However, to date, there is debate about his death. Most scholars maintain that the prosecutor convicted the wrong people in the assassination of Malcolm X.

Fatoumatta: In conclusion, make an effort to read this book. It can make you wish to find yourself in prison. However, it is here that Malcolm X found himself and cultivated himself.

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