Three Key Events In The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

1092 Words5 Pages
In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Muslim leader and black rights activist, Malcolm X, changes through a few significant events in his life. He went from an optimistic young boy, to a mischievous, law-breaking hustler, to a reformed man who sought to improve the way America viewed race. From the start of junior high, to his pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca, Malcolm X experiences three key events that change his life and develop the central idea of systemic oppression in the text. When Malcolm X was just 13 years old, he attended a junior high school as the only African American student. Malcolm claimed that he worked harder than any other student and his teacher, Mr. Ostrowski, even acknowledged his intelligence. However, one day when…show more content…
He even notices this change within himself – “It was then I began to change—inside. I drew away from white people…nobody, including the teachers could decide what had come over me. I was being discussed.” (p. 39). Not only is this a major event for Malcolm’s character development, but it also conveys the central idea of systemic oppression in the text. Malcolm was an intelligent kid and had higher marks than most of the kids in his school. However, his teacher told him “A lawyer—that’s no realistic goal for a nigger.” (p.38). Systemic oppression is developed in this text because no matter how intelligent a black person was, they could not be as successful as a white…show more content…
Before, Malcolm believed that all white people were the devil, even the ones who did not have issues with the blacks. He believed that racism was so deeply rooted in them, that even if they claimed to not be a racist, if put in the position where his status was threatened by the black man, he would find away to make himself better. However, this perception of white people changed—“I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept in the same bed, while praying to the same God, with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, and whose hair was the blondest of blonde, and whose skin was the whitest of white.” (p.347). Malcolm realized that in Mecca, people did not pay attention to someone’s race because they were all there to worship the same God. This event shows systemic oppression in the text contrasting the different societies in America and Mecca. In America, if one were black, they would have a certain standard to which they had to live by. In Mecca, race did not matter and it was over looked—people were not expected to fit into a certain class and act particular way based on the color of their

More about Three Key Events In The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

Open Document