I have never been one to read autobiographies. There are a few stories that have gained my interest and held it throughout the book. Malcolm X’s autobiography is one of those stories. The story held my attention from the moment I began reading it. At a young age Malcolm witnessed the horrors of racial violence and bias. The story progresses from his time in foster care, to living the nightlife, to prison where he learns of Islam. After he gets out of prison he gets involved in the Detroit branch of the Nation of Islam. Where he rises in rank and works to advocate for black unity and militancy, which begins to frighten some people in the organization and he is forced out. The rest of the auto- biography finishes his life.
Very few auto-biographies have moved me the way this one did. While I learned about Malcolm X in high school, his actions and beliefs were never discussed in detail. Why I am not sure, but this book shows everything he stood for and everything he tried to achieve the best way he knew how. There is no need for fancy words or literary devices in this book. You can feel the tension, the passion, and everything in between just through the telling of his story. Reading this auto-biography you get an insight to who this man was; what made him the man he was. You gain a better understanding of why he chose the tactics he did to get his beliefs across. It’s almost as if you are transported into each period of Malcolm X’s life as you progress throughout the auto-biography.
After reading this auto-biography you have a better appreciation for many different things including men like Malcolm X. It is one of those books that no matter how hard you try, you cannot put it down. It pulls you in straight from the beginning and never stops amazing you. It never feels dull or that it drags on like some biographies/ auto-biographies. There is constantly something happening that keeps you interested. Malcolm’s life is an extraordinary one, not simply because of whom he is and what he represented, but because of everything he endured. It is one of the stories that needs to be read regardless of who you are because it will change your viewpoints and how you see the world around us.
There are moments of graphic violence, so parents make the judgment call on if you want your teen reading it and at what age. I know when I have kids I will have them read it as they get older. This is a book that needs to be added to any book collection, not just borrowed. It is one of those auto-biographies that you want to read more than once because you never know what you will learn the second or third time around.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Final review: this was a powerful book to read. It opens your eyes to what this man accomplished.
Pros: Gives you a better insight to his thoughts and actions
Cons: there are scenes that are gruesome, and hard to read.