Learning to Read by Malcolm X





Learning to Read by Malcolm X

Learning to Read is a piece of text written by Malcolm X with the purpose of informing his target audience about the challenges he faced and his inspiring journey to achieve literacy. Malcolm targets young black men who have met the same ordeal he has. Malcolm X is a notable figure and one of the greatest leaders of African Americans in the 20th Century. He is a depiction of spokesman for black people that achieved literacy through self-education. His hunger for literacy pushed him to what he became, an authoritative and influential figure in the African American society as well as the American society in general. Malcolm X makes the black aware of his political and economic rights. In connection to this point, Malcolm Challenges the blacks to detach from the whites politically and economically. Malcolm X understands that the blacks had to distance themselves from the white man, away from his economic, social, and political practices in order to achieve independence. By lacking the motivation to learn pertinent issues concerning society, Malcolm X considered African Americans to be blind. Because of this blindness, blacks allowed the white man to continue domineering them in every aspect of life.

Malcolm imagined the inevitability of his word-based broadening. He was now able to pick a book and read, not only read, but he could digest what the text meant (10). A person who has read a lot could suppose the new world that opened to Malcolm. He narrates that from the point he was able to read and understand what the book was saying until the point he left prison, every moment he could spare, he used to read. To illustrate how intimate he was with his newfound pleasure, he says that he could not be separated from his book even with a wedge. Between learning the teaching of Muhammad, his letters, and the visits from Ella and Reginald and his reading, time flew by without him be concerned about imprisonment. He says up to the point he got introduced to reading, he had not felt so free.

This paragraph is symbolic of the message Malcolm wants to send in Learning to Read. In reading, he finds an escape, he finds freedom and becomes enlightened. Books became the salvation from the prejudices that are characteristic of prisons. Symbolically, Malcolm preaches freedom through books, through literacy and this form of enlightenment. The black youth could be able to navigate better the biases they face every day from the white man if they were to read. It such a powerful paragraph simply by the weight and excitement that are in his words. The ability to read gave him a genuine sense of achievement.

Works Cited

Malcolm, X. (1965). Learning to Read. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Ed. Alex Haley. New York: Ballantine, 353-61.

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