Book Review: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

I read as much as I can, and I wanted to start to share my thoughts on some books I read. I’m always looking for suggestions! Have you read an autobiography you couldn’t put down?

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by M.S. Handler: I picked this up at the library because I wanted a book that made me think. Here we follow Malcolm X from childhood, to thug life and prison, his discovery of the Muslim religion, and then his falling out with the head of the Muslims, followed by his own revelations about life and brotherhood. The story had me feeling angry, sad, and hopeful. As a Caucasian reading this story, I felt anger inside of me when he spoke so harshly about the white culture. I think this anger comes from his accuracy as well as personal shame and wonder. I felt my emotions rise and fall throughout the book, my thoughts turning from defense to empathy, and then back and forth again. I think I fell on the defense because I wanted to say, not all whites hate other races. This general categorization he preached early on really stung. However, his vibrancy and determination are like nothing I have ever experienced. He was so intelligent and well spoken, so many of his lessons can be applied to anyone. I fell in love with is epiphany towards the end of his life. Brothers and sisters can come in different color, still there is a lot of hate from the white community that exists. I agree with this still today, and I can only imagine what he would have to say in today’s racial tense climate here in the US. While I knew how the story would end, the tears still came when I read he was murdered by fellow Muslims. My heart breaks for his wife, being a mother myself I can’t imagine witnessing my husband’s death.  The author’s notes at the end give a further glimpse into Malcolm’s psyche, paranoia, heart, and desire. I feel complete in some way, reading this book was insightful and encouraging.

If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.
– Malcolm X 
I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.
– Malcolm X 

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