Read this text as an argument in the first person, not a personal affirmation – The claim is not that Malcolm Xs experience is remarkable, but that it is not
The color line We laughed about the scared little Chinese whose restaurant didnt have a hand laid on it, because the rioters just about convulsed laughing when they saw the sign the Chinese had hastily stuck on his door: Me Colored Too. (131)
The color line Hymie really liked me, and I liked him. He loved to talk. Half his talk was about Jews and Negroes. Jews who had anglicized their names were Hymies favorite hate. Spitting and curling his mouth in scorn, he would reel off names of people he said had done this. (143) The race card: Who in the worlds history has ever played a worse skin game than the white man? (206)
She knew from personal experience how crime existed only to the degree that the law cooperated with it. She showed me how, in the countrys entire social, political and economic structure, the criminal, the law, and the politicians were actually inseparable partners. (134) – No legitimate authority: Law, religion, society all complicit in racist oppression & hypocrisy The curse of Ham
Being toward death I believed that a man should do anything that he was slick enough, or bad and bold enough, to do and that a woman was nothing but another commodity. (155) Deep down, I actually believed that after living as fully as humanly possible, one should then die violently. (159) I lived and thought like a predatory animal. (155)
The white man is the devil. My mind flashed across the entire spectrum of white people I had ever known; and for some reason it stopped upon Hymie, the Jew, who had been so good to me…. I said, Without any exception? Without any exception.
Black Legion Welfare officials Judges Teachers Cops Johns Customers Sophia Etc.
Here is a black man caged behind bars, probably for years, put there by the white man. Usually the convict comes from among those bottom-of-the-pile Negroes, the Negroes who throughout their entire lives have been kicked about, treated like childrenNegroes who have never met one white man who didnt either try to take something from them or do something to them. (211)
You dont even know who you are, Reginald had said. You dont even know, the white devil has hidden it from you, that you are from a race of people of ancient civilizations, and riches in gold and kings. (186) – History & education Slavery Opium war – History had been whitened (187) – This Negro had been taught to worship an alien God having the same blond hair, pale skin, and blue eyes as the slavemaster. (188)
This History of Yacub The humans resulting, he knew, would be, as they became lighter, and weaker, progressively also more susceptible to wickedness and evil. – Affirmation of blackness – Devaluation of whiteness
Conversion If you will take one step toward AllahAllah will take two steps toward you. (181) I was going through the hardest thing, also the greatest thing, for any human being to do; to accept that which is already within you, and around you. (189) The very enormity of my previous lifes guilt prepared me to accept the truth. (189)
Ordering I had never dreamed of anything like that atmosphere among black people who had learned to be proud they were black, who had learned to love other black people instead of being jealous and suspicious Prayer, ablution, family order Even the children spoke to other children with mutual respect and dignity…. Beautiful! (224) – Order, cleanliness, & respect
A new self For me, my X replaced the white slavemaster name of Little which some blue eyed devil named Little had imposed upon my paternal forebears. (229) – Break with the past – Rejection of whiteness
Think of hearing wives, mothers, daughters being raped! And you were too filled with fear of the rapist to do anything about it? (232) – Fear, power, & violence
Im doing this, showing you Im not afraid to die. Never cross a man not afraid to die. (165)