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Jim's July 2016 pick, 1 of 2
Malcolm X has always been one of my heroes; he is even more so since I finished this book.
It always seemed logical that Malcolm X, and other civil rights leaders, are on par with our nation's founding fathers. They all fought for the same thing: freedom from the tyrannies they saw governing their lives. Malcolm X had to overcome the straight-jacket limitations placed on all non-whites by society that defined him as less than human. As a result, in his early life, he lived like an animal as a hustler and drug addict. Like a phoenix, he rose from the ashes of those years to become a religious firebrand, promoting the Nation of Islam, an organization that not only saved him, but in the end, brought about his demise.
Even though the book came out over fifty years ago, the life lessons taught in Autobiography apply to our lives today. Toward the end of the book, once he had learned to overcome his hatred for all whites, he states "that the white man's not inherently evil, but America's racist society influences him to act evilly. The society has produced and nourishes a psychology which brings out the lowest, most base part of human beings." If that is not a summation of where America is today, nothing is. It explains so much in so few words.
I highly recommend this book not only as a study of a life but also of a society that has not learned from its mistakes.
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