Before Malcolm X was even born, he had issues with racism and the KKK, while his mother was still pregnant with him hooded Klan members broke windows at his family home in Omaha Nebraska. Malcolm’s father; Earl Little had previously made enemies with white supremacists by working with Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association. Earl was an abusive father to his children. However, Malcolm being the lightest on he was able to avoid the beatings by his father. In 1973 Malcolm moves in with a white family named the Swerlins, who decided to foster him. While he stayed with the Swerlins he felt less of a human and more like a pet project to them. In my opinion, this did not need to be added to the autobiography. In the summer of 1940 Malcolm spends time in Boston visiting his half-sister, while he is in Boston with his sister, he realizes he is tired of being treated like an outcast in his foster home, and at school, he decides to stay in Boston. As he grows up Malcolm’s experience with prejudice and racism grows more and more but not only from the white community but also the black community as well. While in Boston Malcolm gets a job washing dishes and selling sandwiches. While he was working, he caught the attention of some of the customers who teaches him all about Harlem New York, and its culture. While spending time in Harlem he meets a pimp by the name “Sammy The Pimp”, it was long until they soon became best friends. Malcolm found steady employment and moved to a rooming house ran by sex workers. He ends up losing his job after referring and prostitute to an undercover military agent. Since he had a job and his funds were starting to run out, he started to sell marijuana. Malcolm ends up taking on a variety of odd jobs around Harlem. In 1945 he is accused of robbing a craps game, after feeling like he is being followed by the Italian racketeers he quits his job. Malcolm made quite a few enemies, and some were out for his blood. Shorty finds him and takes him back to Boston. While in Boston he puts together a burglary ring with shorty and locally named Rudy. Malcolm and Shorty commit the crimes and Rudy is the getaway driver. Malcolm blows his cover while he is high off of cocaine, Sophia’s husband and his friend go on a hunt for Malcolm as well as the police. He was found in a pawn shop selling the items he sold, he peacefully went with them. Malcolm was sentenced to ten years in the State Prison where he eventually found himself and converted to the Nation of Islam.
It is understandable that his father had a part in his upbringing however Malcolm was the only of his children who escaped beatings, so this is unnecessary documentation on Alex Harley’s part. It’s kind of feels thrown in there but that’s just my opinion. Seeing a very descriptive account of Malcolm X’s childhood is in a way disturbing. While it does have to do with his autobiography, I just think that some things should be left out.
Malcolm’s younger years definitely don’t qualify him to be a hero but we all mistakes and the past is the past. However, Malcolm’s past is relevant in this situation, the last few years before he got incarcerated, he made terrible decisions which led him to be in the position to be thrown in jail which he did deserve. Without him making these terrible decisions he wouldn’t have ended up in prison and he wouldn’t have decided to change his life around for the better. However out of respect for Malcolm’s family, some details he provided should have been omitted, not everything is for people to know. Overall the first half of the autobiography was very interesting, and it gave a good insight into Malcolm X’s childhood. It gave a very real description of the things he had to witness and go through as a child and young adult. I just wish some things were kept a secret out of respect for Malcolm and his family.