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Essay Comparing Malcolm X And Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X were great revolutionary leaders. Their motives inspired others to be against the segregated 20th century. Frederick Douglass is famous for writing “Learning to Read”. The intended audience would have been anyone. Learning to Read was written in 1845 and it is a narrative. This narrative gives us insight into how difficult or impossible it was for people of color to learn how to read and write. Malcolm X is famous for his autobiography called The Autobiography of Malcolm X and specifically the passage about learning to read in the memoir. The intended audience is colored people and in general the public. The autobiography was written in 1965. Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass have very similar yet different…show more content…
Malcolm basically had the rights to be educated while Frederick Douglas could not. Both Malcolm and Frederick used sneaky tactics to learn how to read. For instance, when Frederick tricked poor white children in the neighborhood into teaching him how to read by giving them bread in return for lessons (Douglas 26). Malcolm read books in his prison cell. Malcolm in his autobiographical sketch says that when it was “lights out” he would read books and fake sleep if a guard walked by (X 3). Furthermore, both Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass had to struggle to be able to read. It was their desire for education that kept their dreams alive; however, Frederick Douglass thought that learning how to read was a sin and he should have killed himself (Douglas 27). To Malcolm X learning to read and write was one of his greatest accomplishments because it gave him clarity on the blindness, deafness, and dumbness that was afflicting the black race (X 6). In comparison, both advocated freedom for their people but in contrast Malcolm X wanted complete segregation from whites but Frederick Douglas wanted unity. In brief, Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass learned to read in spite of barriers. Frederick Douglass was forbidden to learn how to read and write while Malcolm X grew up without an education. Their struggles and motivation for education and then to pass that knowledge to other is the reason why they are
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