Malcomb X 2 - Malcolm X is one of the most controversial...

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Malcolm X is one of the most controversial people spoken of when the Civil Rights Movement is discussed. He began as a petty thief then converted to the Nation of Islam, or NOI. While involved with the NOI Malcolm grew a strong disdain for white people. After finding the honorable Elijah Mohammed had committed unforgivable sins he took a trip to Africa and Mecca to find the true religion of Islam. This trip changed his life forever. In The Autobiography of Malcolm X as Told to Alex Haley , Malcolm’s philosophy changes significantly multiple times after going to jail and he finally found himself after embracing what he learned in Arabia. Malcolm X’s first philosophy, all forms of religion were evil, was evident while he was held in the Massachusetts State Prison. While in prison he was known as Satan. Malcolm heavily criticized any and all religions and anything to do with them. Once he was sentenced “My first letter, I remember, was from my religious brother Phibert in Detroit, telling me his ‘holiness’ church as going to pray for me. I scrawled him a reply I’m ashamed to think of today” (Malcolm X, 176). He could not accept a letter meant to support him from his brother. This was one example of why Malcolm was named Satan in prison. He was also found multiple times “viciously cursing aloud to myself” (177). This was another reason the “men in the cellblock had a name for me: ‘Satan’” (177). Thus, before the change of philosophies Malcolm X hated religion and anything that had to do with it. Malcolm’s change in philosophy can be attributed to Bimbi, a well-respected and smart inmate. He would “have a cluster of people riveted around him, often on odd subjects you would never think of. He would prove to us. .. that the only difference between us and outside people was that we had been caught” (178). Bimbi told Malcolm 1
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he could be smart, but only if he wanted to. Malcolm was inspired by Bimbi’s encouragement; along with other people’s insistence he began to improve his reading and writing skills, and eventually, with Bimbi’s help, learned Latin. Malcolm also learned to play dominoes. This is another sign that he has changed. He would not have been caught playing dominoes before he met Bimbi. This was the beginning of change in Malcolm’s life. Malcolm then converted to the Nation of Islam with help from his siblings and other relatives. He was told not to “eat any more pork, [or] smoke any more cigarettes. I’ll show you how to get out of prison” by his brother Reginald (180). Malcolm thought
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course COM 225 taught by Professor Morrison during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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Malcomb X 2 - Malcolm X is one of the most controversial...

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