Summary Of The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

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Geoffrey Sirc wrote “The Autobiography of Malcolm X as a Basic Writing Text” to convey to his students and all students of literature that this book “teaches the importance of passion and strength of character” that these are “essential attributes to growth as a writer.” This journal article reaffirms the reason why all students should be required to read the book and Sirc states that autobiography allows the student to develop a deeper understanding of how to be inquisitive when confronted with stereotypes or ignorance. The affirmation comes in the form of a quote from Malcolm X in the epilogue of the book “People don’t realize how a man’s life can be changed by one book” (X and Haley 400) and the impact that statement would have on future…show more content…
He states that readers from different levels will appreciate the inspiration of the book. A reader may reflect that Malcolm was a person who went from the inside and emerged on the outside. Sirc quotes Penn Warren to explain the thought process, “the man who, from humble origins and with meager education, converts, by will, intelligence, and sterling character, his liabilities into assets”. Sirc uses this quote to speak to the students understanding of the effort it takes to experience life from outside a racial box. Malcolm was “making it” (Sirc 52), however one particular student of Sirc’s found the task “daunting but inspiring” (Sirc 52). Meng, a student from Southeast Asia realized that Malcolm had a “homemade education” (X and Haley 182), but was trying to understand how to take from the inspiration without being overwhelmed. Sirc explains that the students are looking at this from his informal education from the inside, yet once they receive that inspiration then they are able to begin a writing process with a depth and study of his life outside then they become deeper scholars. He also knows that in the reading the context of Malcolm’s words, the rhetoric of his street life can take the reader from the “outside to the inside” (X and Haley 53) and leave the student in a state of belief permanency. He uses the example…show more content…
Not only is he bringing material for the students to learn from he also allows the student to bring in examples to use as an aide to understand the text. As a professor of English he is invoking a form of the outside-inside-outside theory when he allows his students to use material that exists in their daily lives. One particular medium that his students use are rap lyrics and quotes from rap artists. The label he creates for this type of reading is “street critical” and this helps create “homemade theorists” (Sirc 60) in regards to the context they bring to their
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