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The Autobiography of Malcolm X
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Archive 2017 > June 2017: The Autobiography of Malcolm X (no spoilers)

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Phil Jensen | 73 comments Hi, everyone! I'm wrapping up the last week of school today, so I haven't had time to read more than the first chapter of this famous and influential book.

Even though it's 500 pages, the first chapter is compelling, and I predict that this will be a pretty quick read.

Who's in? Who's reading it for the first time, and who's already read it?


message 2: by Nina (new)

Nina | 449 comments Yes, up for it! Running late on getting the book (again), but planned to start this weekend!


message 3: by Gisela (new) - added it

Gisela Hafezparast | 116 comments This is one of our family books as my husband made us all read it. It is a very important book and I have to admit that I didn't take to Malcom X at the beginning at all, but I was really impressed by his conversion from criminal and macho to a leader of people. I thought he brought the struggles of a black person, but especially that of a black man in his time very well across.

I really was very impressed about his truthful description of how Islam helped him to become free and I am always very, very skeptical as in my opinion religion is so often used as a way of enslaving people and stopping them from thinking for themselves. Also the promise of a better afterlife, clearly is a real problem especially at the moment with suicide bombers! I thought his description of his involvement with the Nation of Islam is very interesting and for me the manipulations, misuse of funds and people could be transferred to so many religious organisations, especially the Catholic Church!

All in all a I agree with my husband, it is a book which all youngsters should be lead to to read, but NOT a GCSE or A-Level material.


Phil Jensen | 73 comments That's interesting, Gisela. I picked this book because it is considered an American classic, and it describes American history. I'm a little surprised to see that something so specific to the US has so many readers in other countries.


message 5: by Nina (new)

Nina | 449 comments OK, I really tried hard to get this book but it seems really difficult! Best option I have to spend some 20 dollars, have it shipped from the US and get it in more than 2 weeks... I will sleep a night over this and decide tomorrow whether I will still join this read...


Phil Jensen | 73 comments Well, here's my review if that helps you decide:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 7: by Gisela (new) - added it

Gisela Hafezparast | 116 comments Phil wrote: "That's interesting, Gisela. I picked this book because it is considered an American classic, and it describes American history. I'm a little surprised to see that something so specific to the US ha..."
I think a lot of people who are interested in the struggle of black people or anybody else against racism I think will be interested in this book. It is a black man, who is not only fighting racism but is also trying to find a better, more fulfilling kind of life where he can be who he is without being held back by cultural circumstances. I think it is especially relevant now, where many people try once again to find an answer in religion, whichever one it is and unfortunately as so often in history, "church people" /organised religious institutions are using especially young men for their own purposes. In many ways ISIS is part of this as are some of the ultra-conservative Christian churches or some fractions of the State of Israel which are using the Jewish religion to abuse Palestinians.


Phil Jensen | 73 comments I gave that some thought, Gisela, and I think I'll respond over on the spoilers thread.


Phil Jensen | 73 comments This book has been chosen as a group read three times on Goodreads, and the other two instances resulted in even shorter threads than this one. That strikes me as odd for a book that is this important. By contrast, Atlas Shrugged has had 14 group reads, and The Alchemist has so many that I stopped counting after 25.

Anyhow, Malcom X's frequent references to his red hair and reddish skin made me curious, so I pulled up this youtube clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qCl8...
His patience and self-discipline in this interview is incredible.

This one is more fiery and similar to the style of the book:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNsWy...
It contains his infamous response that he is thankful every time a plane of white people crashes, and he prays for more plane crashes.

I was also curious about Elijah Muhammad. I wanted to see what was so hypnotic about him. Here's a clip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISlYH...
It's actually an audio clip, because I found it more interesting than a lot of the low-quality videos out there.


message 10: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 772 comments Mod
Thanks for leading the discussion, even though it probably has been discouraging. A few months ago, a book I nominated for another group "won." However, not one person other than myself made any comments. I don't even know if anyone even read my links and comments.


message 11: by Phil (new) - rated it 2 stars

Phil Jensen | 73 comments ☯Emily wrote: "Thanks for leading the discussion, even though it probably has been discouraging. A few months ago, a book I nominated for another group "won." However, not one person other than myself made any co..."

I'm not too down about it. Having it on the schedule motivated me to get it off my TBR in a timely manner. Anyway, the thread will stay open, so maybe more readers will stop by.


message 12: by Gisela (new) - added it

Gisela Hafezparast | 116 comments Phil wrote: "This book has been chosen as a group read three times on Goodreads, and the other two instances resulted in even shorter threads than this one. That strikes me as odd for a book that is this import..."

Interesting. Thank you.


Laurie I found this interesting, next time I am in Boston I may visit.

historicboston.org/portfoilio-page/Ma...


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