The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley
Malcolm X, Alex Haley, Attallah Shabazz
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
ONE OF TIME’S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
With its first great victory in the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the civil rights movement gained the powerful momentum it needed to sweep forward into its crucial decade, the 1960s. As voices of protest and change rose above the din of history and false promises, one voice sounded more urgently, more passionately, than the rest. Malcolm X—once called the most dangerous man in America—challenged the world to listen and learn the truth as he experienced it. And his enduring message is as relevant today as when he first delivered it.
In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement to veteran writer and journalist Alex Haley . In a unique collaboration, Haley worked with Malcolm X for nearly two years, interviewing, listening to, and understanding the most controversial leader of his time.
Raised in Lansing, Michigan, Malcolm Little journeyed on a road to fame as astonishing as it was unpredictable. Drifting from childhood poverty to petty crime, Malcolm found himself in jail. It was there that he came into contact with the teachings of a little-known Black Muslim leader renamed Elijah Muhammad. The newly renamed Malcolm X devoted himself body and soul to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the world of Islam, becoming the Nation’s foremost spokesman. When his conscience forced him to break with Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity to reach African Americans across the country with an inspiring message of pride, power, and self-determination.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X defines American culture and the African American struggle for social and economic equality that has now become a battle for survival. Malcolm’s fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.
Praise for The Autobiography of Malcolm X
“Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will.”—Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father
“Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book.”—The New York Times
“A great book . . . Its dead level honesty, its passion, its exalted purpose, will make it stand as a monument to the most painful truth.”—The Nation
“The most important book I’ll ever read, it changed the way I thought, it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage I didn’t know I had inside me. I’m one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were changed for the better.”—Spike Lee
“This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle.”—I. F. Stone
seemed to me. He kept saying that the press was making light of his statements about the threats on his life. “They act like I'm jiving!” He brought up again the _Saturday Evening Post_ editorial. “You can't trust the publishing people, I don't care what they tell you.” The agent for the book sent to my hotel a contract dealing with foreign publication rights which needed Malcolm X's and my signature. I signed it as he observed and handed the pen to him. He looked suspiciously at the contract,
on location in southern Africa producing a segment for a documentary film. During a break in the day, I returned to my hotel room for my afternoon siesta. This particular afternoon, I turned on my television and searched until I found a CNN broadcast. Global news commentaries now became the backdrop in my room. I then pulled down the top sheet and blanket on my bed so I could rest. No sooner had my head touched the pillow, I began to fade, exchanging conscious sounds of the television for those
received Uncle Sam's Greetings. In those days only three things in the world scared me: jail, a job, and the Army. I had about ten days before I was to show up at the induction center. I went right to work. The Army Intelligence soldiers, those black spies in civilian clothes, hung around in Harlem with their ears open for the white man downtown. I knew exactly where to start dropping the word. I started noising around that I was frantic to join. . . the Japanese Army. When I sensed that I had
race was marched off across the Arabian desert to the caves of Europe. The lambskin and the cable-tow used in Masonry today are symbolic of how the nakedness of the white man was covered when he was chained and driven across the hot sand. Mr. Elijah Muhammad further teaches that the white devil race in Europe'scaves was savage. The animals tried to kill him. He climbed trees outside his cave, made clubs, trying to protect his family from the wild beasts outside trying to get in. When this
Wilfred. I offered my services to our Temple's Minister, Lemuel Hassan. He shared my determination that we should apply Mr. Muhammad's formula in a recruitment drive. Beginning that day, every evening, straight from work at the furniture store, I went doing what we Muslims later came to call “fishing.” I knew the thinking and the language of ghetto streets: “My man, let me pull your coat to something-” My application had, of course, been made and during this time I received from Chicago my “X.”