Friday, August 5, 2011

The Autobiography of Malcolm X (As told to Alex Haley)

All Negros are angry and I am the angriest of all.”

This is one quote that pretty much sums it up a) the appalling condition and treatment the blacks received by the hands of the white at that time and, b) the person who stood up to fight against the white man's prejudice against the black race, namely Malcolm X, did certainly confront with a lot of ferociousness and an absolute dagger drawn approach.

One could have easily mistaken Malcolm X to be some kind of a baddie in the modern history of America, if that some one hadn't had the opportunity to read this autobiography. In fact, who knows, had he not opted for an autobiography during the later stages of his life, one might have never got the real insight to the man's life – and that would had been a shame.

The 'Autobiography of Malcolm X' is a result of a series of interviews taken on separate occasions by Alex Haley, apportioned them into different chapters, that are, indeed, the chapters of Malcolm X's life. Being a black civil right advocate, that he eventually became at that time because of the way he was brought and treated, he was the most angriest, charismatic and outspoken leader of that time. However, the stature that he gained during his lifetime, it is even more intriguing to note the changes he went through, which would be evident to the readers. As a matter of fact, he looked to re-invent himself every time he went through lean patch in his life, as if every hurdle left him to do soul-searching and each time he came out of it with even more conviction and a staunch opinion about things around him.

Apart from it being a book on Malcolm X, it is also a book that recollects the bitter and, frankly, horrid memories of what use to go around at that time in America. As a reader, one would confide, comprehend and even relate to what Malcolm X had to say, and that is because I would like to believe that if the disease of racism in the country is over, Malcolm X made a telling difference in that regard.

As Malcolm X expects an “objective reader” to read the autobiography, an open-mind would in all probability, change the perception of the man who was labeled as the “bad man of US” or “white-hater” or “black supremacist”. At the same time, the bitter reality of racism that continued to taint the image of the most liberal, developed and democratic country well into the 20th century, it perhaps required a man who could deal with it with an iron fist and lift the black population out of their abysmal condition. One who is prepared to read the autobiography with an open and wide mind, should do it – otherwise no point.

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