Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

It's been awhile since I've read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, so I decided to read it again.

First, I had forgotten that Malcolm wrote this book with the great Alex Haley, that author of Roots...

"In the aftermath of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, freelance writing offers for Haley began pouring in, and he could have easily lived out his lifelong dream of being a successful independent writer. Instead, Haley embarked on a hugely ambitious new project to trace and retell the story of his ancestors' journey from Africa to America as slaves, and then their rise from slavery to freedom. During a decade of research on three continents, Haley examined slave ship records at archives in the United States and England and traveled to Gambia, the home of his ancestors in West Africa. 

A review in The New York Times stated, "No other novelist or historian has provided such a shattering, human view of slavery," and the book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. In 1977, ABC adapted Roots into a television miniseries that attracted a record-shattering 130 million viewers. Thirty-seven American cities declared January 23-30, the week the program aired, "Roots Week." http://www.biography.com/people/alex-haley-39420#the-autobiography-of-malcolm-x&awesm=~oI7fNfjc7MX2w5

I can vividly remember sitting in front of the television, as a kid, watching Roots. I credit Alex Haley as being the writer who made the idea of Africans being turned into slaves very really to me. I have not seen Roots in a very long time, and I can still remember Kunta Kinte refusing to call himself Toby..... Roots is very forever branded in my mind. AND TO THINK....

That this same great writer and historian, worked with Malcolm X to create The Autobiography of Malcolm X. What a powerful duo......

In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex does a great job of telling Malcolm's story. At the end of the autobiography, Alex writes about the experience of working with Malcolm on this novel, and this part is just as captivating as the novel itself.

Here are some of my take aways from this read:

"So early in life, I had learned that if you want something out of life, you had better make some noise." (A man of understanding.)

"If they gave their brains in their heads just half as much attention as they do their hair, they would be a thousand times better off." (Insightful!)

"If you will take one step toward Allah (God) -Allah (God) will take two steps towards you." (Understands the role of faith.)

"In fact, up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life." (While in prison, Malcolm discovered that reading books is liberating!)

"I knew that she (Betty, Malcolm's wife) was a native of Detroit, and that she had been a student at Tuskegee Institute down in Alabama-an education major." (Malcolm was smart enough to pick a good woman: A Tuskegee woman.)

"From the time I entered prison until I married, about twelve years later, because of Mr. Muhammad's influence upon me, I had never touched a woman." (A strong and disciplined man.)

"No one has believed perfectly until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." (Not afraid and willing to help others.)

"No other woman was ever strong enough to point me in directions; I pointed women in directions. I had brought Ella (Malcolm's sister) into Islam, and now she was financing me to Mecca." (Respected a strong Black sister.)

"That morning was when I first began to reappraise the 'white man.' It was when I first began to perceive that 'white man,' as commonly used, means complexion only secondarily; primary it describes attitudes and actions." (Willing to change.)

My People, Malcolm is THE MAN!

Read, Read, and Reread this book.....

Malcolm X and Alex Haley together; it don't get much better!

I am going to start rereading The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer; join me if you dare!!

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