I’m learning more about Malcolm X right now, and in particular what I’m wondering about is how do prison reform criminals?. I was researching this question online, and this article caught my attention because the name of the title is Malcolm X on education. This title sparked my interest because in the early part of the book Malcolm used education as a gateway to a better life.
“Malcolm became a letter writer and as a result he says that he “stumbled upon starting to acquire some kind of homemade education”. He became extremely frustrated at not being able to express what he wanted to convey in letters that he wrote. He says that “in the street I had been the most articulate hustler out there …But now, trying to write simple English, I not only wasn’t articulate, I wasn’t even functional”. His ability to read books was severely hampered. “Every book I picked up had few sentences which didn’t contain anywhere from one to nearly all of the words that might have been in Chinese”. He skipped the words he didn’t know and so had little idea of what the books said.” (Burke, B. (2004), p.1)
The quote I chose here is basically saying that he began to reform in prison with the help of his outside brothers and sisters. They were a big help by showing and teaching him the teachings of the Muslim way.
I think this paragraph is important. I say this because this paragraph really relates to my question. One question I have about the reading is why did he not choose to change his life before being incarcerated? I chose this portion of the text because it shows how well dedicated malcolm was to changing his life and furthering his education, what little education he did have. It is already known that his brother outside the prison played a huge part in helping him find religion and finding out about the honourable Elijah Muhammad. This paragraph is significant because it shows a major turning point in his life and himself by seeking a better education. He wrote letters in attempt to reach to the honourable Elijah Muhammad.
As I was learning more about Malcolm X. I came across other articles and videos with the help of my teacher. And one online video really stood out to me. This video caught my attention because of the things Malcolm himself spoke of. In this video he spoke about how Muslims rejected violence and were one hundred percent against violence as their religion.
“The Muslims who have accepted the religion of Islam, and followed the religious guidance of the honourable Elijah Muhammad. Have never bombed any churches, have never murdered any little girls, as was done in Birmingham. Have never lynched anybody. Have never at any time been guilty of initiating any aggressive acts of violence. During the entire 33 years or more that the honourable Elijah Muhammad has been teaching us.“ ( antihostile (2013), 1:30 )
The quote I chose here is basically saying that it is against the Muslim religion to commit any act of violence that is not used to protect themselves or their family. Every Muslim shall respect this order, and if one shall disobey this command then they are not considered to be a true Muslim. What I feel that Malcolm is trying to say is that this is what one portion of what makes Muslims different every other religion.
I think is very strong because it makes me wonder why can’t everyone follow his ways without having to be Muslim. It makes me wonder why can’t everyone keep an open mind to change for a better society and better humanity. I chose to quote this portion of the video because it is important to know that Malcolm X accepted violence to be an issue. The details of Muslims not participating in the bombing of churches, or murdering little girls, or lynching anyone is an example of the non-violence, which separates muslims from others, and that is what makes this quite significant and influential towards others.
While continuing to do my research and learn more about Malcolm X. One thing that I learned is that Malcolm openly accepted, acknowledged, and also admired other people of different religion. Who fought for the same things he was fighting for. As I was doing more research on Malcolm X. I stumbled upon this video and because of the title of The Ballot or the Bullet. This video had grasped my undivided attention.
“When we realize that Adam Clayton Powell is a Christian minister, who is the head of the Abyssinian Baptist church. At the same time he is more famous for his political struggling, and Dr. King is a Christian minister in Atlanta Georgia, but he has become more famous for being involved in the civil rights struggle. There is another in new york Reverend Galamison. I don’t know if you heard of him out here. He’s a Christian minister in Brooklyn, but has become famous for his fight against segregated school system in Brooklyn. All of these are Christian ministers, but they don’t come to us as christian ministers. They come to us as fighters in some other category.“ ( antihostile (2013), 1:50 )
The quote I chose here is basically saying that other people saw the same problems going on in society and humanity. Malcolm was not the only who felt it was not right, and wanted to speak up about it. Among the other names of individuals that he stated they too also became known and became more famous for speaking out and fighting for their rights.
I think this is very moving, and not only to the people that was present during the speech given from Malcolm, but this was very moving to I myself. One question I have about this quote is did or why haven’t these political strugglers live longer than they did? I chose this important information from the text because he states other people besides himself who has struggled to make a change in society and humanity. He states all the good thing that these ministers was trying to accomplish or have accomplished at the time. I feel this quote I chose is significant because he shows that he was not the only one who felt this way about society and humanity. He was not the only one who felt that change was needed.