Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. A Brief History with Documents written by David Howard-Pitney is a great history book that gives us an entry into two important American thinkers and a tumultuous part of American history. This 207-pages book was published by Bedford/St. Martin’s in Boston, New York on February 20, 2004. David Howard-Pitney worked at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University in 1986, and that made him a specialist on American civil religion and African-American leaders ' thought and rhetoric (208). Another publication of Howard-Pitney is The African-American Jeremiad: Appeals for Justice in America.
Sample Body Paragraph 1 Focusing our mind on a simple task can inspire us. Malcolm X is a figure who illustrates this idea. He dedicated himself to educating himself and learning how to read in prison. He spent countless hours of undistracted study, carefully copying words from the dictionary to improve his vocabulary and handwriting.
“X” allowed me to look through the eyes of a young Malcolm X in the early 1900’s. I got to experience the events that shaped Malcolm X into the icon that we know him as today. It illustrates his struggles and his conquers. His journey from a young man lost in the world of drugs and hustling to someone who would become one of the most influential people in history is inspirational. You won’t put down this riveting page turner until you have read every single page.
a. Explain the process by which the author improved his reading and writing abilities. The process by which the author improved his reading and writing abilities begins when he is in prison. At first, he studied in prison under the teaching of Mr. Elijah Muhammad, and he wrote letters to people, whom he knows in the outside world. After these letters were sent, he found out that it was difficult for him to express his feelings because of the lack of vocabulary.
Malcolm X once said, “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery”. In the preceding quote, Malcolm X is explaining his threatening proposal of black nationalism. During the 1960s Malcolm X believed that African Americans were not being treated properly and that they must unite and take up arms if they fail to get what they want. Essentially, they were being politically oppressed. Despite the fact the fifteenth amendment was in place at the time, blacks in America were faced with political barriers when attempting to vote.
X’s figurative and denotative language constructs an emotional opening of his essay, depicting a diligent man outgrowing his illiteracy. Malcolm X uses several figurative dictions to characterize an enthusiastic tone from a knowledge pursuer. During his time in prison, X recalls his intellectual inmates are “walking encyclopedias” and are even “celebrities” (para. 15). Though ironic, the metaphor comparing inmates and celebrities not only conveys X’s distinct perspective towards knowledge but also illustrates his admiration for education. This enthusiasm reflects his perseverance of learning as well.
Malcolm X was a preacher of the religion Islam. In his teenage years, Malcolm was in prison. After prison, he changed his life and began preaching Islam. There was jealousy over how popular Malcolm X was becoming with followers of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm soon left the Nation of Islam and became an advocate for the overthrow of oppressive laws.
Malcolm X “You can’t separate peace from freedom, because nobody can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” These words came from the mouth of Malcolm X, but who was he? Some people call him deranged, others call him too radical. But truthfully, Malcolm X was one of the most influential African Americans in history.
David Remnick wrote, “A poll showed that eighty- four percent of African- Americans between the ages of fifteen and twenty- four saw Malcolm as ‘A hero for black Americans today.’ The video for public enemy “Shut ‘ Em Down” put Malcolm’s face on the dollar bill. A vivid, but secondary figure in his own lifetime, Malcolm X had achieved the status of an icon”(Remnick). Malcolm X was loved by the black community and though to be a hero among African Americans during the 1960’s so the people honored him in the movie “Public Enemy”. Malcolm X achieved his status within the community by advocating black pride and trying to end black suppression.
This leads to his ideas of separation over integration. He felt that integration would still give white people power over black people (which relates back to his beliefs of economic independence). He felt that integration didn’t make up for the kidnapping, rapes, and enslavement of millions of black people for hundreds of years. He thought that as long as white people and black people lived together, white people would have the power while black people would always beg for housing, food, and money. In his lifetime, he’d never seen a situation where someone black wasn’t begging for the “table scraps” off of a white person’s table.