Malcolm X lived during a period in American history when racism and civil rights were at the forefront. Although slavery was abolished in 1865 with the adoption of the 13th amendment to the constitution, African Americans were treated with indifference and discrimination for many more years. During his lifetime, Malcolm X experienced first hand how racism affected the lives of African Americans including himself, his family and friends. The autobiography that he writes in collaboration with Alex Haley is a detailed story of the events that affected Malcolm X. Malcolm X’s main purpose for writing his autobiography is to show how racism in America dehumanizes African Americans.
In the very first chapter, Malcolm tells how early in his life he realizes that being black means disadvantage and that a black person will never truly be successful. As a child, his father has plans to own a business and works hard saving his money to accomplish his dream. However, the society in which they live refuse to allow a black man to own a business like so many of the white people. Even their fellow black neighbors are brainwashed into believing that Malcolm’s father is wrong for having plans for success. Malcolm states, “every wher
When Malcolm makes his pilgrimage to Mecca, he realizes that racism is a problem that exists in America. I was unique in my class, like a pink poodle" (32). He realizes that not all white people throughout discriminated against those of color. When Malcolm is elected as class president while in the seventh grade, he experiences how the white people around him treat him as a mascot rather than as an equal. Malcolm X shows a picture of a divided America, where black people must rise up and create their own successes while white people must realize their racial tendencies and work to overcome them. Malcolm believes that a hustler"tms life is the only life for a black man to make ends meet because he has no opportunity in the white person"tms world. It is because of the white man"tms lack of concern and discrimination toward black people that has created such downtrodden circumstances for those living in Harlem and other cities throughout America. Ostrowski saw a different, less successful life for Malcolm only because he was black. As a young student, Malcolm again sees the difference between himself and his fellow white students. But I can see now why the class might have done it. He tells how, as a pimp in New York he sees white men and women using black men and women as ways to fulfill their bodily desires. Malcolm believes that the white person is to blame for the poverty, crime, drug abuse and poverty that exists in Harlem.