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Joseph Gemmell CJ 367 A- Fall 2012
His house was set ablaze. poverty. After being released from prison early. and bad influences led Malcom to begin using hard street drugs. and mother was sent to a mental hospital. His vision was for equality for all people blind to race or ethnicity. His introduction to street crime and hard drugs sparked a destructive phase of crime. Various foster homes. and violence based on race. At an early age Malcom discovered the life long struggle he had in front of him. discrimination. He was born in a time period and area of the country in which was filled with hate. Malcom eventually was convicted of various crimes including Larceny in 1946. After making trips overseas. Malcom X met with influential leaders of the “Nation of Islam”. He spent the six years in prison educating himself by reading and had an epiphany. . especially to Africa. His views of hatred towards white people changed to a desire for peace within a few years’ time. Malcom’s family was persecuted by white supremacist groups. father murdered. his views of race and equality began to change. Through his involvement Malcom became a very powerful minister within the nation and eventually broke away due to disagreements and conflicts of interest. especially crack cocaine.Book Summary General Summary: The “Autobiography of Malcom X” illustrates the development and evolution of Malcom’s understanding of racism. However his family’s house was firebombed and he was assassinated less than a week later.
he began reading literature and educating himself on the Islamic religion and became involved in the Nation of Islam. Violence increased and life in Harlem became too risky for Malcom to stay in New York. During his studies he gave up drug use and converted himself. Adolescence/Young Adulthood: After completing school. His house was destroyed in a fire set by white supremacists and his father was murdered in a street car “accident”. Malcom gets involved in the Boston nightlife and begins involving himself in scandalous activities. hate. Malcom became involved in the drug trade. He learned of the struggles his people faced on a daily basis and began to understand the problems within his society. He was eventually arrested in Boston for Larceny/Breaking and entering. He becomes a casual user of drugs and eventually moves to New York where his criminal life blossoms. Prison Transformation: Malcom X was sentenced to 8 to 10 years in prison. These events made him hate the white race as a whole and spiral into a crime ridden world. His teacher told him that he could not aspire to be anything prestigious because of his race. His change of heart began the transformation of his stand on racism. . armed robberies.Early Childhood: Malcom learned about discrimination. His mother was eventually sent to a mental hospital and Malcom to various foster homes. During his incarceration. and prostitution. and racism at a very early age.
He influenced and positively impacted many people but also angered many racial extremists. He became the “face” of the movement and many leaders felt threatened. I am actually embarrassed to say even though I knew Malcom X was an influential leader in the Civil Rights Movement. I think that his progress through a life of crime and positive experience with the Justice System. He was assassinated by radicals only minutes into his final speech. When first starting the book I had wondered how the book would actually connect with the class but now I realize the various parallels with the course subject. He came to a new understanding of racism and equality. . Malcom wanted to strive for equality for all people and no longer had hate for white people. He broke away from the Nation after discovering of his friend & colleague’s adultery and going on a pilgrimage to Africa and Mecca. This was Malcom’s final transformation. I thought it was interesting because we have discussed in many different CJ classes that the Justice System is very similar to a revolving door. I also thought that Malcom X’s usage of crack cocaine was very interesting. Malcom X used his incarceration to better himself and strive to make a difference in society. Personal Reaction to book: I personally thought this book was very interesting.Post Prison Life: Malcom’s transformation in prison continued into his new life as a free man. I personally think his situation proves that the Justice System can actually work in contrary to popular belief. We had discussed the “crack epidemic” and its destructive availability on the street. He became an influential minster in many different cities through the Nation of Islam. I knew very few details about his life.
Points for Book Club Discussion: o Early life Risk factors Negative influences Racial differences Teachers o Linked Risk Factors studied in Juvenile Justice to class and book o Malcom’s involvement with drugs and crime Spiral Specifically crack cocaine Provine’s “Blacker” war on drugs via crack? o Involvement in Nation of Islam Good outweigh bad? Betrayal o Themes of book? Racism Malcom’s evolving understanding of racism Human rights are natural Final Thoughts after Group discussion: -Good book -Relevant with classroom discussion -Did Malcom X escape racism/violence after all? .