A Step in the Right Direction 169

A Step in the Right Direction 169 - Katrina Wyatt 3.19.08...

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Katrina Wyatt 3.19.08 Black Studies 169CR A Step in the Right Direction Both Malcolm X and DMX are African Americans that struggled to find their place in the society. Malcolm X learned through his upbringing that his place would be to work with the Nation of Islam and be very influential in the civil rights movement. DMX learned through all of his struggles that he “just wanted to be heard” (Fontaine, 282) and to follow the path that the Lord had blessed him with. Although both of these men saw different outcomes to their struggles, ultimately their differences were strictly generational because the United States had a different path to lead them down at that time. These men had quite similar paths growing up when it comes to their family lives, their ghetto experiences, and their poverty as children. The United States changed very little for a child growing up in the ghetto, giving reason for why both of these men had such similar experiences. Although these both of these men struggled growing up facing the difficulties of being African American and poor in America, they ultimately represent a step in the right direction. The family life that began for them started off differently, but ended up nearly the same. Malcolm X grew up in a home with both his father and mother to begin with. When he was only six years old, Malcolm X learned that his father had been killed while insurance companies “were claiming that [his] father had committed suicide” (Haley, 11). As he and seven his siblings tried to hold their family together, his mother slowly began to lose her mind. This was facilitated by welfare people coming to the house and pitting the children against each other (17). Malcolm X learned at a young age that if he wanted 1
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to eat or get things that he wanted, he was going to have to steal. This further separated him from his family, and he was eventually taken away to live with other families who could better care for him. After he was sent away, his ties to his mother were severed and the relationship with his siblings would be different for a long time. After he had been to jail, he found that he could rely on his half-sister Ella in any situation and often called upon her as a confidant. In addition, she helped him move to Boston as a young man, which prevented him from having a menial job in Michigan that was considered
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course BL ST 69CR taught by Professor Daniels during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.

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A Step in the Right Direction 169 - Katrina Wyatt 3.19.08...

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