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by Alex Haley

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1965
ISBN: 0141185430
Publisher: Grove

He was called Malcolm Little at birth; he was buried as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz; but he lived most of his life as Malcolm X and was the most rabid racist of his time while he ran counter to the movement which dominated it. As he said over the cups of coffee cum cream he drank with Alex Haley (who took down this story and contributes a long epilogue), it "was the only thing I like integrated" His father was one of six out of seven boys who died violently (predominantly at white hands). Malcolm X never doubted for a minute that he would be assassinated, just as he was. His mother was committed to a state mental hospital-- "legal modern slavery." He was farmed out and by the time he was sixteen had been schooled to the hard fact that "everything in life is a hustle." "Sharp" by this time, he came to New York, to Harlem, where he steered white women to black men, stole, took cocaine, and learned the "cesspool morals of the white man from the best possible source, from his own women." Sent to prison at twenty one, he found Allah, the religion of Islam and Elijah Muhammad there. Once out, he became one of Muhammad's most militant disciples and seared his way across the national scene. Interestingly enough, it was after Muhammad "silenced" him, i.e, suspended him from the movement, that he went to the original Holy City and the Holy Land and became more aware of the possibility of white and black "oneness" Handler's introduction and Haley's personal commentary at the close present the "black panther" coiled to spring in somewhat softer focus although his intemperate hatred (Justified to some extent by the circumstances of his early life) and lashing zealotry fire the book from beginning to end. Particularly in its view of the rough underside of Harlem does the record have a revelatory as well as testamentary impact. An important one...