2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. Prompt: a novel based on a real person

Whoa! What a powerful, poignant read by one of history’s polarizing civil rights leaders. I am so angry right now. This book put everything in perspective for me. And it made me realize things I hadn’t thought about before.

Warning: I may begin to rant. 

I always thought that Malcolm X was this violent man. But to read about his childhood. To see him grow and change. And acknowledge when he was wrong. That was eye-opening. That was not the Malcolm X I learned about in school.

As a young Latina woman, I know the struggle. I understand where Malcolm X was coming from. I really do. Society is prejudiced against us non-white people. Just last week my country’s president referred to a neighboring country in my family’s homeland as a shithole. A shithole. And then people wonder why we are so upset. Why we rally. Why we hold demonstrations. 

When Malcolm X started talking about why he dropped his last name, I found that to be quite interesting. Because in a way I can relate to that. My Mayan ancestors were on this damn continent before Columbus ever stumbled upon us. Yet, I have a Spanish last name. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how and why that might have happened. 

When Malcolm X started describing how his culture was taken and erased. My goodness. Again, I can relate. Because we all know what happened when the Europeans landed in the Americas. 

An enlightening read. I understand why people were wary of Malcolm X. I don’t agree with everything he said. Some of the things he said were actually off-putting. But at the core, his goal was pure. He wanted justice for 400 years of suffering. What’s the problem with that?

It’s incredibly depressing to think that nothing has changed. That everything Malcolm X was fighting against, is still in existence today. That society has not progressed in the last 54 years. That the fight continues. And will continue.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. If only to gain an understanding of how a hustling, dope-addicted young man, found religion and turned his life around. How he rose to such prominence and was ultimately betrayed by those he loved.

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2 thoughts on “The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

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