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Silent Gesture Analysis

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The issues of racism, poverty, and segregation suffered by African Americans are commonplace not only in today’s society but society of the past. These issues were a major barrier in the way of those before us who strived for the equal treatment of all humans. In both The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Silent Gesture the authors write about their specific struggles against social injustice and human suffering. An analysis of the two novels show that to convey their individual hardships, the authors give examples of their struggles that appeal to ethics, logic, and emotion. Both of these novels express that these issues were an everyday struggle of African Americans of the time period. Living in poverty was a major problem in society for…show more content…
This concept was so prevalent that to an African American who blindly listened to the information given by white people, they would believe that the thought of looking and being as white as possible was better is a fact. Before Malcolm X went to jail and opened his eyes to the world, even he believed that being closer to white is better.African americans went through excruciating pain just to look whiter, Malcolm chemically altered his hair with lye to achieve a hairstyle called a conk which resembles the straightness of a white man 's hair (56). For some African Americans, the shade of skin could dictate how they were treated by others. While Malcolm X was younger he was one of the African Americans who believed it was “some kind of status symbol to be light-complexioned” (3). Even in terms of parenting, parents like Malcolm X’s dad, were inclined to favor their lighter children. Although examples like these aren’t shown in Silent Gesture the concept is still there, more so in The Autobiography of Malcolm X the “brainwashing” by whites is visible and conveys the fact that most whites and many African Americans believed that being as white as possible was…show more content…
In conclusion, both Malcolm X and Tommie Smith dealt with issues such as racism, poverty, and segregation in their struggles against social injustice and human suffering. Both novels give detailed accounts about the ethics of people in their respective time periods but whereas Malcolm X talked more about the perceptions of society and what they saw as true, Tommie Smith focused more on how his struggle affected him. However, despite these slightly contrasting ways in which the authors show their struggles, together they are extremely effective and thought provoking. By providing examples of their personal hardships that appeal to ethics, logic, and emotion, the authors brilliantly showcase the social problems of the past which still correlate to the
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