The Color of Water and Malcolm X

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Abraham Maslow’s theory of “Hierarchy of Needs” consists of 5 things humans need. From top to bottom, top being the more complex needs and the bottom the more basic needs is; Self-Actualization, esteem, love/belonging, safety, and physiological. Self-actualization is the level of need that pertains to what a person’s full potential is and realizing that potential. It is broken up as morality, spontaneity, and lack of prejudice. Based on the two texts I read, The Color of Water by James McBride and The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told by Alex Haley, I consider both James McBride and Malcolm X “self-actualized” men to a certain extent.

James McBride is a “self-actualized” man to a certain extent because throughout his life he had a white Jewish mother and he never judged, hated, or feared her; he had nothing but love for her. Out of the 3 main things I believe that make someone “self-actualized” this expresses his lack of prejudice and that must have took a lot out of him to not judge her even though everywhere they went people would always stare as they saw his white mother with black children following her and calling his mother names such as “nigger lover”. The reason why I say Malcolm X is a “self-actualized” man to a certain extent is because in Chapter 2 of his autobiography, Mascot, Malcolm is sent to a reform school where he says something that gets stuck in my mind. He said “I don’t care how nice one is to you; the thing that you must always remember is that almost never does he really see you as he sees himself, as he sees his own kind. He may stand with you through thin, but not thick; when the chips are down, you’ll find that as fixed in him as his bone structure is sometimes subconscious conviction that he’s better than anybody black.” Malcolm X isn’t directly saying it but from this you can tell he doesn’t hate white people but he does have a dislike for them. Prejudice is defined as an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without...
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