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
They would even visit me at the Gohannases'. They would ask me questions out on the porch, or sitting out in their cars. Eventually my mother suffered a complete breakdown, and the court orders were finally signed. They took her to the State Mental Hospital at Kalamazoo. It was seventy-some miles from Lansing, about an hour and a half on the bus. A Judge McClellan in Lansing had authority over me and all of my brothers and sisters. We were “state children,” court wards; he had the full say-so
half-sister Mrs. Ella Collins, and Joseph E. Hall, General Manager of the large Unity Funeral Home in Harlem. Leaving the Medical Examiner's office at about noon to go and complete funeral arrangements, Sister Betty told reporters, “No one believed what he said. They never took him seriously, even after the bombing of our home they said he did it himself!” At the Unity Funeral Home on the east side of Eighth Avenue between 126th and 127th Streets, Sister Betty chose a six-foot-nine-inch bronze
having shines, and I had practiced picking up my speed on Freddie's shoes until they looked like mirrors. After we had helped the janitors to clean up the ballroom after the dance, throwing out all the paper and cigarette butts and empty liquor bottles, Freddie was nice enough to driveme all the way home to Ella's on the Hill in the secondhand maroon Buick he said he was going to trade in on his Cadillac. He talked to me all the way. “I guess it's all right if I tell you, pick up a couple of
gray Theresa Hotel. It was the finest in New York City where Negroes could then stay, years before the downtown hotels would accept the black man. (The Theresa is now best known as the place where Fidel Castro went during his U.N. visit, and achieved a psychological coup over the U.S: State Department when it confined him to Manhattan, never dreaming that he'd stay uptown in Harlem and make such an impression among the Negroes.) The Braddock Hotel was just up 126th Street, near the Apollo's
sixty-six hundred years ago, when seventy per cent of the people were satisfied, and thirty per cent were dissatisfied, among the dissatisfied was born a “Mr. Yacub.” He was born to create trouble, to break the peace, and to kill. His head was unusually large. When he was four years old, he began school. At the age of eighteen, Yacub had finished all of his nation's colleges and universities. He was known as “the big-head scientist.” Among many other things, he had learned how to breed races