Malcolm X was a huge figure
He is an outstanding personality in the black civil rights movement of the late 50’s and early 60’s in the U.S. and the world. He was an extremely controversial figure because, until he was imprisoned after many years of crime, he was just a street thug in Boston and New York. While in prison he “cleaned up is act,” and became a member of the Nation of Islam organization. His falling out with them occurred because he became too radical, but, ultimately, he transcended the belief in militancy, coming to believe that racism was a global not just an American problem, and that all people had to work cooperatively together to end it. He became such an internationally-known figure that he threatened the Nation of Islam organization, and three of its members ultimately assassinated him in 1965.
The Definitive Work on the Man – The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley
Alex Haley is a 20th century black author – many remember him most for his writing of Roots, the book that became a hit movie. But, Haley was also a journalist and, through years of interviews with Malcolm X, he wrote the definitive book on this man’s life. So, if you are to write a Malcolm X essay, you will have obviously read this work.
Writing an autobiography is not an easy task, and Malcolm X was happy to have a good writer collaborate with him on his life story. Unfortunately, he died just before it was to be published, and you should have read the Epilogue that Haley created for the end of the work.
The Malcolm X Autobiography Essay – Plenty of Topics
As you think about topics for your essay, think in terms of the broad general themes of search for identity, racism, and redemption, for these are the themes Haley and Malcolm X portrayed in the book. As you think about those, here are some potential topics for an essay:
- Discuss the phases through which Malcolm X travelled on his journal to ultimate self-identity.
- Discuss how Malcolm X’s views on the white man changed over time.
- Discuss the role that each woman in his life played – his mother, his half-sister Ella, Laura, Sophia, and Betty.
- By the end of his life, what was Malcolm X’s view of Black identity?
- What legacy did Malcolm X leave for future blacks?
- Why did he change his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X?
To write a really good essay on this book and on the life of the man himself, the student will have to have a strong background of the civil rights movement in the U.S. during the 50’s and 60’s and of American politics at the time as well. If you are feeling uncomfortable in your knowledge and your ability to produce a good piece, get some writing help from the pros at GloriousEssays.com. There will always be a civil rights historian available to assist you.