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Summary Of Malcolm X's Literacy Behind Bar

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Malcolm X's "Literacy Behind Bars" is about the expansion of his world that provokes a burning passion within himself through the world of reading. While incarcerated, the author meets a man named Bimbi who leads the discussion with his stock of knowledge, prompting Malcolm X to further his skills in literacy. Taking small steps, he first broadens his vocabulary by reading alphabetically in the dictionary and copying pages. He reads aloud to himself until the words begin to stick with him. Not long after moves onto books, devouring them at a relentless pace, Malcolm X became so engrossed with reading that he begins breaking curfew rules just to continue reading by using the light outside of his cell. He has a thirst for information that only…show more content…
This idea emphasizes the true passion Malcolm X had for knowledge and shows that reading is the tool that gave him the ability to communicate with others intelligently; as a child my family and I moved around a lot, causing us to uproot our lives constantly. Like Malcolm X when he was isolated in prison, I felt the same emotion of being lost when I moved overseas and could not communicate well with others. This made me the new kid everywhere we went, and books became my escape. For example, we moved to the town of Hamburg, Germany, which is a major port city, and they had a university near where I was living. My mum would take me to this university three times a week. During these times, I would look for and read the English books they had since I could not speak the native language. As I kept going, I would meet others around my age, and we would read these books together. This gave me the chance to learn German and them English.Reading gave me the chance to learn about the culture, people, and areas where I was living. After reading the books, they opened a new pathway to relating to other people for me. Similarly, Malcolm X felt “months passed without even thinking about being imprisoned” due to the fact reading had changed his life (X, 3). The author and I related on an emotional level; therefore we are free with the newfound ability to use our dialog to
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