Malcom X and Racial Identity Development
Racial Identity Development is the steps minority or majority groups go through to gain understanding of their racial identity. Many people don’t go through all these stages in their life and it requires a lot of inner growth to get there. After watching Malcom X, a civil rights leader, I saw how Malcom went through each of the stages of black/ minority racial identity development; some with difficulty and others with not as much trouble.
After reading about and reflecting on the minority development, I realized that I’m at the stage of immersion/ emmersion. I find myself more concerned about my culture and who I hang out with. I’m constantly asking questions about where I come from and why certain things work the way they do based on skin color. I’m also noticing how my race is seen through the eyes of others/ majority groups and what factors contribute to their opinions. I’m making more connections with kids and adults my race instead of with others just to get a better understanding of myself.
Everybody has to go through the pre-encounter stage. This is the stage where race isn’t very apparent to the individual. They don’t question the idea that “white is right” and “black is wrong”. Malcom experienced this stage in many ways. One example of this is when Malcom went to the barber shop to get his hair permed. After seeing his hair straight, he makes a comment saying, “look like white hair don’t it”. This is an example of the pre-encounter stage because Malcom is saying that white people have straight hair which automatically makes white hair better.
The next stage is the encounter stage. In this stage, the individual grows aware of their race and the disadvantages that come along with it. A certain event usually triggers this acknowledgment. An example of how Malcom went through this stage was when he was in school and was told by his white teacher that he couldn’t become...