An Essay on Literacy in the Time of Malcolm X

As, Frederick douglass and Malcolm X write in their experiences literacy is empowering because it helps you understand more about your social context and communicate with the world. Malcolm X begins to teach himself how to read and write in prison. He would go through the difficult stages to become intelligent person. For example, he would write words on the table to remember them and read the whole dictionary. Douglass was a slave and during his time it was very difficult for African American to know how to write and read. Douglass would make friends with poor white boys from the street and learn from them. He would offer them bread and they would give him books and also he would learn words from them.

Historically, empowerment reading and writing from the articles. “Learning to Read” excerpt from the Autobiography of Malcolm X and Learning to Read and Write By Frederick Douglass. These articles explain a lot about the history of reading and writing. For example, “Malcolm X emerged as political,social and economic with community in the civil right movements”(Malcolm X pg 1). This source talks about how Malcolm X begins to get in politics to fight for black rights. Frederick Douglass after being a slave he also was fighting for black rights. “The reading of these documents enabled me to utter my thoughts and to meet the arguments brought forward to sustain slavery”.(Douglass pg1) Douglass means that ability to read was the key to freedom and understand the history.

Moreover, as Douglass learn to read more he discovered more information about African American and slavery. The purpose of Malcolm X was intended audience everyone to learn the history. For example, learning about his autobiography of his learning to read in prison and other. Also he went around the world spreading philosophies, prison population, and history. Another reason to educate people of a important portion of his life his education and promote education literacy.

Literacy in reading and writing was limited in Frederick Douglass time but Malcolm X wasn’t. Douglass time slavery was empowering and education was very low for slaves. But Malcolm X time reading and writing was for everyone but mostly for higher class people. Malcolm X claims that in learning to read, he gained a new awareness of “the deafness, dumbass, and blindness that is afflicting the black race in America”.( Malcolm X pg 2) Douglass situation was more difficult but he still get freedom and learns how to read and write. Both of this articles explain a lot about literacy and was similar to each other.

These examples show the literacy of reading and writing can be personal empowerment. All these examples show how reading and writing is important to everyone because without you can’t communicate with the world. Like Douglass said learn to read and write gave him freedom to understand his situation he was in. Douglass learned that slavery was wrong and committed to freedom for every African American.

Also, Malcolm X was a hustler and after prison he was called one of the greatest influential African Americans in history. Malcolm X understood the separation or segregation due to race his time and fight for black rights. Moreover, all these example show the history of literacy of reading and writing. This is what reading can do it connects us to the world experience. Malcolm X tells us how he learn to read and write and imprisonment change his mind to read and write. One example was the dictionary pages made him remember words.

Another was he wrote his words on the table and started reading his own handwriting. Prison gave him freedom to learn from his mind. He says, “As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive”(Malcolm X pg 2). This example tells that his freedoms are curtailed reading allows him to expand his mental vistas. Then Malcolm learned how to write and he said “I’d written words that I never knew were in the world”(Malcolm Xpg 1). He started using the dictionary that had pictures and remembering the words with his imagination which helped him. As he reads more, he understands the history of African Americans and thinks about how that history still affects African- American people in his time. Like he said in the article that he was hustler and he could barely write and read words but after he was in prison his mind change.

In addition reading and writing leads to develop the critical skills. “The key to mature writing is learning to write critically.”(PhDessay pg 1) Means that without criticism you have no understanding of the author. Like Douglass said “enabled him to utter my thoughts and to meet the argument brought forward to sustain slavery”(Douglass paragraph 6). Douglass learned to critically think and understood his argument about slavery. There are lots of ways to understand critical skills by compare and contrast. For example compare and contrast articles or essays your reading in school. Ask yourself questions and try to give and take arguments from the author. Finally, agreeing with an author or others gives alternative strategies for your critical skills.

In my own life, from the article would be how Malcolm X learned words from the dictionary by looking at the pictures. I remember when I was in 1st grade my teacher would give the whole class books to read and it had lots of pictures. This made me remember words and meaning. Another, experience from a Malcolm X article he would copy the dictionary in alphabetical and studied each word. This is also example of my personal experience when I studied for my spelling test in fifth grade I would learn each word alphabetically. Moreover, from Douglass article how he would give food to poor white kids and learn from them. I remember similar situation when I was 1st grade and my mom would give me candy if I would finish read the book and do my homework.

All these examples show literacy can do for us even when we are younger or older. Finally, Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass articles have lots of literacy on reading and writing. These two articles show how “reading and writing made Fredrick and Malcolm be alive through their struggles becoming better”(Phd pg 5). These two authors had inspire me with respect to my own goals by showing me and making me understand more how powerful knowledge really is. The whole main idea is that knowledge is the key to many things and able to understand things in positive ways. “I can see that both authors had determination of their circumstance or obstacles in order to achieve what they wanted”( Reineke pg 6).

They both fell in love with reading and writing which made them achieve their goals they wanted to achieve. This also reminds me of myself when I was sick and missed school during elementary school.I still needed to complete my homework and assignments no matter what. Regardless of what I was facing I still determined myself to do my work. This determination is a good example of Douglass Frederick and Malcolm X how they faced their strategies of success. Frederick knowledge made him smarter and wiser slave and he saw better things ahead. He wanted to be better slave than other not for himself but for other slaves. Malcolm X writing and reading opened his mind and understood the world better coming from the streets being a hustler.