As a child Malcolm did not have many material possessions. He did not feel a sense of belonging with any of the groups around him. Therefore, when he moved into the city he did not squander any time acquiring all the materialistic things he felt he needed to establish his status. When speaking about the reasoning behind his change, he concludes, “Like hundreds of thousands of country-bred Negroes who had come to the Northern black ghetto before me, and have come since, I’d also acquired all the other fashionable ghetto adornments- the zoot suits and conk that I have described, liquor, cigarette...
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...ing Malcolm’s self-worth. The author explains how a “conk” hairstyle tied him to the white world and showed him his own internalized racism. The writer also demonstrates how eyeglasses, a watch, and suitcases played a major role in his final transformation to the great leader that he made himself into. All of these symbols work together through the captivating tale of his life, and illustrates the many things that helped to shape him as a man. All things considered, Haley reveals just how critical symbols are in not only Malcolm X’s lives, but in everyone’s lives. Ultimately challenging his readers to look at their own lives in an attempt to discover what their personal symbols are. Malcolm X’s life had many challenges and setbacks, nevertheless, he discovered who he wanted to be and rose to the challenge, proving himself an important and influential leader.
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