Malcolm X, a civil leader dedicated to the advancement and the equal treatment of blacks in America. Unfortunately, his untimely death through assassination shocked the world and marked the end of a civil rights era. Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, had a life surrounded by tragedy as his father was murder at the age of six and his mother was placed into a mental hospital when Malcolm turned 13. Although faced with the difficulties of discrimination and racism, Malcolm X was able to rise to the occasion and become a Muslim minister. Due to his successful career as a civil rights activist, Malcolm X has had numerous biographies written about the events in his life, as well as the autobiography he released.
In the autobiography, Malcolm spoke of his time in the Massachusetts State prison. During his time there, Malcolm experienced significant growth both intellectually and spiritually. Sadly during this portion of Malcolm’s life he underwent severe withdraws from his prior excessive drug use. Due to his withdraws and his unsettling temperament, Malcolm X had been moved to solitary confinement and was nicknamed after one of the most temperamental literary figures of all time, Satan.
Although Malcolm was experiencing one of the worst moments of his life at this point, he was able to meet a man by the name of Bimbi. Bimbi was quite the prisoner and Malcolm X really admired his confidence. Bimbi was a man whose confidence awarded him the respect of his fellow prisoners, as well as, the guards in the prison. Bimbi sees opportunity in Malcolm and begins to convince him to look past the tragedy he had previously experienced and to broaden his horizons by learning from his past and letting go of it. Malcolm X begins to make use of the prison library, although there was few books in it, Malcolm learned from each and every one. He was even able to grasp the English language better making him sound more intelligent. This learning process taught him how to channel and innate rage into a valid argument, one that should be taken seriously.
Eventually, Malcolm X is transferred to Norfolk Prison. This prison colony had far less violence and more academic opportunities. The library was massive compared to the one at Massachusetts State and more inmates studied at the prison colony. With fellow inmates, whose intellect matched his own, Malcolm X was able to debate with them. These debates taught Malcolm the importance of intellect and demonstrated its power, all while teaching Malcolm how to debate in a more rational way.
Through his studies Malcolm learns about the religion of Islam. Malcolm’s brother teaches him a few things about the Muslim religion, specifically the teachings of Muhammad. Muhammad taught that all white men are devils, which caused Malcolm X to think back about the white men he had known over the years. Unfortunately, Malcolm couldn’t think of one good one.
This passage from Malcolm X’s autobiography showed his first steps towards becoming the radical political religious leader he had destined to be. This point in his life proved to be one of the most crucial and his time spent in prison molded him into the political leader he became later known for. Although his method were viewed as extreme, Malcolm was determined to fight against the white man and achieve the dream of equal treatment of blacks by any means necessary.