Malcolm X and race relations in the United States

Just this summer I read “The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley.” A dear friend had suggested I take it up. I was warned that it would challenge me.

Did it ever. And all these months later, I still mourn the loss of this brilliant man.

The story is brutal. The tales of Malcolm’s life from being the son of a murdered father through his involvement with the Nation of Islam cut you to the bone. You bleed. You come away scarred.

And if you are white, you are forced to see that there is a reason we still have race problems today nearly 50 years after Malcolm’s assassination.

Just look at what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri.

This book is not a comfortable read. It is a challenging one. The pain I felt while reading this book was worth it. Now I have a better understanding of the race issue here in America than I did before I read the autobiography. And it’s troubling.

So troubling.

This book is one I highly recommend, especially to all white people, and especially right now in these turbulent times. It makes you think, question, and mull over everything you’ve ever been taught.

I suggest that every white person in the United States should read this autobiography. You will be battle weary when you get to the end, but it will be worth it.

I’m forever indebted to Alex Haley for compiling these stories into this book.


Photo found on Tumblr


  1. I read this decades ago because Malcolm X was direct and not one for civil disobedience as Martin Luther King was. I wanted to know why he wasn’t as “calm”. I didn’t find this to be disturbing because I grew up amidst many movements for change. It was what people were doing. It was the norm and passion, impatience, power and failure were part of that process ALL of the time, over and over again. Malcolm X struck me as a highly intuitive and intelligent man whose life formed his drive for “better” and by any means necessary is sometimes the only way to break up long standing states of beliefs. I wish I was old enough to have followed him progress in real time. It would have broken my heart still, but I believe it would have been worth it. It was so sad that he was murdered. He transformed himself and it was an incredible story.

    Liked by 1 person

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