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Malcolm X’s Knowledge and Liberation What does it mean to be liberated, mentally imprisoned, and free? Malcolm experienced all of those feelings and in this essay I will explain how he was first mentally imprisoned or oppressed, to him becoming physically imprisoned which set him free, and the influences that changed his life from what it was before.
To first address how Malcolm X was liberated by reading and knowledge, one must understand what it means to be free or liberated. To be free is to live in happiness, peace, harmony and Just overall have a positive well-being.
Freedom allows one to be n control of themselves and their life and to have an unlimited amount of opportunities. To be liberated is to appreciate life without restraints or restrictions; To live your life the way you choose and have those rights be inalienable and accepted worldwide as something that cannot be physically or mentally taken away.
Malcolm was freed mentally while he was physically imprisoned. Growing up Malcolm X was raised in a disfunctional household and never really had a strong male fgure to look up to as an example.
He was put into a detention home where he was surrounded by white people who treated him as a pet or a mascot. He grew up not knowing anything about his history or heritage which impacted him greatly when he became an adult.
While in middle school, Malcolm X asked his favorite English teacher why there was only one paragraph about black history and his teacher made a senseless Joke and moved on, but something inside Malcolm snapped that day. He was going to make or find his own history.
As Malcolm X became an adult, he had the choice to live a good educated life but instead chose to become an alcoholic and drug dealer. He felt that was the only real Job out there that didn’t serve upper class white people. At a few points in his life, Malcolm X had to live his hometown because he was afraid to be arrested for a false accusation or killed over unpaid debts. Although it wasn’t as clear then, Malcolm X was mentally imprisoned and oppressed in the community, ignorance, and state of mind in which he chose to live with for a long time until he was finally arrested which began a new life for him.
Malcolm X was liberated and became more free than ever in his life by absorbing knowledge like a sponge and not letting anything get between him and his want and need to further his learning. While in prison, Malcolm X was introduced to a whole new world which he had no prior knowledge except for his embarrassment and guilt of not being capable to respond back to Elijah Muhammad. He says that he nearly became a prison hermit because he was so into his learning and books that not even eight prison guards and the warden could pry him from his intense passion of studying.
He was so passionate about reading and learning new words that he never knew existed that he would get angry when it would be “lights out” and stay up all skills and language skills broadened his eyes and changed how he viewed his life nd the world. One person that changed the way that Malcolm saw himself and the world was Elijah Muhammad. Muhammad wrote to Malcolm X while he was in prison and gave him courage and guidance towards a life committed to Islam.
Malcolm X looked up to Elijah Muhammad and thanked him for introducing to the world of Islam. He became a very humble man and lost pride and gave and fully committed himself to Allah. Writing to Elijah Muhammad and not knowing how to express himself without using the old slang that he had grown up speaking made him push himself towards earning more so that he could communicate freely and effectively. That large step that Malcolm took by first copying the dictionary onto paper changed his life and set him upon a new course.
Acquiring reading skills was probably the most influential event that could have happened in Malcolm X’s life because he was introduced to a numerous amount of topics and history that even he couldn’t fathom. In addition to writing letters to Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X started to look more into black history and the origin of his people and where the oppression began. Malcolm X found that the more he looked into the history if his people, the more “whitened” or bleached it became.
He read books about slavery that upset him and made him even more passionate and he came up with a conclusion: White men are like devils that oppress the world’s minorities. He kept reading about how whites opened the Slave Trade and all the hardships his ancestors endured in the process of searching for human rights. He also believed that whited exploited all the other races of the world by coming in a good nature to the people and then changing their whole attitudes and screwing eople out of their own resources and making them turn on each other out of the white man’s benefit.
For example, the United Nations were indiscreetly creating laws directly towards the oppression of minorities. After acquiring the ability to read, Malcolm X got the courage to Join the debate team that always him think about other subjects and admire the inmates who got so heated about the points they were supporting. Malcolm found debate and public speaking was something that was so exhilarating because it was a combination of strategy and reasoning. He would track down everything about his subject and then ut himself in the mindset of his opponent and then fgure out a way to knock down those points as well.
If there was anyway Malcolm would talk about the devilishness of the white man in any of his debates. Malcolm X became liberated and free as he grew as a new person into knowledge and under a new religion that he actually had faith in. Malcolm became all of the definitions that I gave about truly being free. Knowledge gave Malcolm happiness, peace, harmony and an overall positive well-being but one important thing that I think knowledge gave him was: Knowledge gave him the option to have an unlimited