Malcolm X Learning to Read is an inspiring story about one man’s journey from slavery to freedom. Malcolm X was born into a life of poverty and violence, but he managed to educate himself and become one of the most influential leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. This book details his early life and his transformation after prison, when he became a powerful advocate for black liberation. Learning to read was a pivotal moment in Malcolm X’s journey, and this book will inspire readers of all ages to pursue their own education.
In “Learning to Read,” an excerpt from The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the author battles his illiteracy while incarcerated for fighting against racism. In conversations with other prisoners, Malcolm realized he wasn’t as articulate as he used to be when hustling on the streets. Bimbi, a fellow prisoner in Charlestown Prison would take control of conversations because of his vast vocabulary and knowledge that came from reading regularly.
Malcolm would get embarrassed and frustrated that he couldn’t compete with Bimbi. Even though, he was Malcolm Little the hustler from the streets of Boston and New York. Yet, in contrast to Bimbi, he felt like an ignorant country boy.
This excerpt Learning to Read is important because it’s a turning point for Malcolm X. It made him realize that if he wanted to be on the same level as Bimbi and other prisoners he needed to learn how to read. Not just learning how to read but being able to read fluently and with comprehension.
So, what did Malcolm X do? He started teaching himself how to read by looking up words he didn’t know in the dictionary and reading every book he could get his hands on. In this way he was able to improve his reading skills and become the articulate and well-read man we know today.
Malcolm X’s story is an inspirational one that shows us the power of literacy. It is a reminder that no matter where you come from or what your circumstances are, if you are willing to put in the hard work you can achieve anything.
Malcolm was not only impressed but desired to be as intelligent. Malcolm explains, “Bimbi made me feel envy of his stock of knowledge.” When he started his sentence, the highest education he had received was at an eighth grade level something he got when he was a child. So Malcolm began reading to acquire the same eloquent speechhabit, but then ran into a problem: He couldn’t understand more than a few words in such sophisticated books as Bimbi read .
This caused Malcolm to become “frustrated and discouraged.” Despite this, he did not stop reading and looked words he didn’t know in the dictionary. This allowed him to develop his own style of intelligence. Learning to read was a stepping stone for Malcolm X because it gave him the ability to critically think for himself, which is an important trait to have during any time period but especially during the Civil Rights Movement. Learning how to read also helped Malcolm express himself more clearly when he gave speeches about his experiences as a former slave and later on as a leader of the Nation of Islam.
Malcolm X learned how to read while he was in prison serving a sentence for larceny and burglary. He became interested in reading after meeting a man named Bimbi, who was well-educated and well-spoken. Malcolm was impressed by Bimbi’s intelligence and decided that he wanted to be able to read and express himself as eloquently as Bimbi did.
He couldn’t understand what he just read because he only knew the words. He was frustrated because he could only read what he knew, but not comprehend the meanings of things. While in prison, Malcolm obtained a dictionary from the Norfolk Prison Colony School. Stories, meanings, and history begin to emerge as memorizing with The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr books begins.
Learning to read gave Malcolm a new perspective of the world. He went from being an uneducated criminal to seeing the value in education. Learning to read was a turning point for Malcolm because it allowed him to gain knowledge and understanding that he never had before. It also showed him that books could be used as a form of liberation.
As his new understanding grew from reading every book he could get his hands on, so did his distaste for the whitened world in which he now found himself. Mr. Muhammad began his lessons with a reminder that history had been whitened, meaning that when white men wrote history books about black people, they were simply overlooked.
Learning about all of the accomplishments of his people that were left out of the history books only made Malcolm angrier. Even though he was still an uneducated man, he realized that the white man was trying to keep the black man ignorant. While in prison, Malcolm became further educated on the Nation of Islam and learned even more about how whites were tricking blacks.
One particular event that had a profound impact on Malcolm was learning about how slavery actually began. He always thought that slavery started with white men capturing blacks and shipping them over to America against their will. However, he soon learned that it was actually blacks who sold other blacks into slavery. After hearing this, Malcolm felt betrayed by his own people and wondered why they would do such a thing to their own.
Although Malcolm X was uneducated, he was still able to teach himself and learn about the world around him. He used his new found knowledge to not only better himself, but also to help educate others. Malcolm X is a prime example of how important education is, no matter what form it comes in. Learning to read changed Malcolm’s life forever and helped him become the man he was meant to be.