Malcolm X

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LEADERSHIP 3 SEMINAR: The Political Economy of Leadership and National Transformation

LECTURER: DR. LLOYD AMOAH

BOOK REVIEW ON THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY MALCOLM X

DUE: 27TH APRIL 2011

. "By any means necessary. I'm for freedom. I 'm for a society in which our people are recognized and respected as human beings, and I believe that we have the right to resort to any means necessary to bring that about." -Malcolm X.

ABSTRACT

As part of the leadership seminar requirements, I was supposed to choose a book from the assigned books to review. This paper seeks to successfully review the leadership approach of Malcolm X. It highlights the main themes of the book and states the arguments of agreement and disagreement with the author. It also seeks to construct the portrait of leadership style of Malcolm X, discusses his strengths and weaknesses. In addition, lessons and personal insights I discovered during my course of reading are included in the review.

I chose to review the autobiography of Malcolm X because he was unique revolutionary. He was not afraid to say things that needed to be heard. Also through him, many African Americans were able to stand together and fight for their rights. Another inspiring reason is the fact he continued his struggle for equality despite the numerous death threats on his life and his family. This quality of selflessness, the concern for the welfare of others I believe is essential for leaders to have. People were empowered by his speeches and honesty.

SUMMARY OF THE BOOK

The autobiography of Malcolm X is a compilation of a series of interviews between Malcolm X and Alex Haley. The autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley was published in 1965 after the death of Malcolm X.

Malcolm Little was born on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was the seventh child of Reverend Earl Little, a Baptist minister who stressed on the teachings of Marcus Garvey and Louise Little, a mulatto born in Grenada to a black mother and a white father. Malcolm X quickly grew to hate the society he had grown up in. After his father was killed, his mother was denied insurance coverage which made her incapable of providing sufficiently for her children and this led to the falling apart of the family and also the children were sent to foster homes and Malcolm later going to a reformatory.

In his teens, he engaged in shining shoes in the speakeasies and dance halls of Boston. After getting work as a Pullman porter, he went to New York and fell in love with Harlem. In New York he was a drug dealer and petty crook. Upon his return to Boston, he set up a robbery gang which later landed him in jail for nine years.

In prison he learnt of the Elijah Muhammad and Nation of Islam. He became a devout student to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad. After jail, he became acquainted with Elijah Muhammad and he changed his last name to X and embraced the nation of Islam. He later became an effective speaker, organizer, built new mosques, and gained more members for the nation. During 1956, he met Sister Betty X and later married her in 1957. He and Betty had six daughters, twins after his death. Malcolm X spoke with eloquence against the white man and was referred to as the hate preacher. Due to his popularity, some members of the nation were jealous of him and he was later suspended by Elijah Muhammad from the nation when he passed a negative comment concerning the death of President J.F. Kennedy.

In 1964 after his suspension, he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca upon his return, changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz and left the nation of Islam and announced the formation of his own religious organization. After the pilgrimage he modified his views of black separatism and also declared that he no longer saw white people to be innately evil. His new organisation was to focus on working together with other organizations to help fight for civil rights for the black people. During this time, he visited...
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