I didn’t think that the amount of quotes I gathered from Malcolm’s autobiography were enough to write a comprehensive review, yet alone a review of its own, so I simply wanted to share some passages that I found interesting.
I hope you enjoy.
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M. S. Handler (Introduction of autobiography on Malcolm X):
“[upon first encounter] We spoke for more than three hours at this first encounter. His views about the white man were devastating, but at no time did he transgress against my own personality and make me feel that I, as an individual, shared in the guilt. He attributed the degradation of the Negro people to the white man. He denounced integration as a fraud. He contended that if the leaders of the established civil rights organizations persisted, the social struggle would end in bloodshed because he was certain the white man would never concede full integration. He argued the Muslim case for separations as the only solution in which the Negro could achieve his own identity, develop his own culture, and lay the foundations for a self-respecting productive community. He was vague about where the Negro state could be established.
Malcolm refused to see the impossibility of the white man conceding secession from the United States; at this stage in his career he contended it was the only solution. He defended Islam as a religion that did not recognize color bars. He denounced Christianity as a religion designed for slaved and the Negro clergy as the curse of the black man, exploiting him for their own purposes instead of seeking to libertate him, and acting as handmaidens of the white community in its determination to keep the Negroes in a subservient position.
During this first encounter Malcolm also sought to enlighten me about the Negro mentality. He repeatedly cautioned me to beware of Negro affirmations of good will toward the white man. He said that the Negro had been trained to disassemble and conceal his real thoughts, as a matter of survival” (Introduction XI).
“This is the sort of kindly condescension which i try to clarify today, to these integration-hungry Negroes, about their ‘liberal’ white friends, these so-called ‘good white people’ — most of them anyway. I don’t care how nice one is to you; the thing you must always remember is that almost never does he really see you as he sees himself, as he sees his own kind. He may stand with you through thin, but not thick; when the chips are down, you’ll find that as fixed in him as his bone structure is his sometimes subconscious conviction that he’s better than anybody black” (33).
“The audiences in the gymnasiums ‘niggered’ and ‘cooned’ me to death. Or called me ‘Rastus.’ It didn’t bother my teammates or my coach at all, and to tell the truth, it bothered me only vaguely. Mine was the same psychology that makes Negroes even today, though it bothers them down inside, keep letting the white man tell them how much ‘progress’ they are making. They’ve heard it so much they’ve almost gotten brainwashed into believing it — or at least accepting it” (35–6).
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