As infamous as the name Malcolm X is, his story is less so. Gleamed over in textbooks and fleeting appearances in time pieces, Malcolm X’s legacy is still limited by American prejudices. I hadn’t realized how much I didn’t know about this influential figure until reading his biography. And honestly, I was disappointed in that fact. It shouldn’t have to take people’s own interests and action for them to know about historical figures such as Malcolm X.
My education stated things such as Malcolm X being the leader of the Black Panther movement, a believer that the ends justify the violent means, and a stark supporter of isolationist ideas for African descendants. I have since learned that all of the aforementioned are false. Not barely or merely by schematics, entirely, they are completely incorrect lessons taught in American schools to prejudice students against this figure’s thinking.
Malcolm X was a black, Muslim man. Two key factors that made him a discomfort to Americans. And because he still is, the education surrounding him is still a tool of bias. Although his life was too vast and politically complex for me to undo all of the lies or lack of acknowledgement in one article, what I can do is recommend his autobiography for those invested in making 2021 count.
It is incredulous to read Malcolm X’s biography alongside Obama’s. The similarities are disheartening and disgusting to say the least. When so many people believed Obama’s administration was post-racism, 2020 was a reminder of the shallow growth America’s society has made. The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a necessary read. If not for the future, for his incredible story.