The Good That Hate Produced: The Qualities Of Malcom X

1122 words - 4 pages

Born out of starvation and hustling in the streets but fueled by resentment against those who persecuted him, Malcolm X was a person that no single adjective could begin to describe. Malcolm X was not a man of perfection by any means, and at many times far from it, but he had an innate gift for speaking, rallying others behind whatever cause he felt was justified, be it forming an Islamic congregation in the middle of New York or speaking in front of a crowd of hardened criminals. Hatred passed on to people of color only served to stimulate Malcolm’s mind, by giving him a source on which to express his teachings to those that would listen, and even to those that would not. Some of the issues he spearheaded continue to spark hatred and dissent in others, but what Malcolm X truly testified to was the theme of close-mindedness of the world-wide community as well and the main idea that a race must first be given human rights before civil rights, shown through his use of imagery and creative metaphors. By continuing as a complex recipe of honesty, leadership, and morality, Malcolm is only a single ingredient in the cause of black independence from those he characterized as “white devils” that have oppressed those of color for four hundred years.
From an early age, Malcolm showed signs of his aptitude for taking on a leadership role from the short anecdotes in his autobiography. In the seventh grade, for instance, he was elected class president. After letting his life slip for several years, his potential to guide his audiences’ minds shone through in prison once again, debating with the best of them on subjects that were inevitably steered towards something Malcolm knew he could win. Later saying that reading books in prison became his education, he gradually learned how to not only argue and support a point, but also the history of his race that he knew virtually nothing about. His experience gained behind bars, though, helped him to later become one of the nation’s most desired speakers, gaining a following in the millions with his objective tongue, facts, common sense, and past experiences. In the Charlestown prison, Malcolm X met a man nicknamed “Bimbi.” Malcolm, remembering him, said, “What fascinated me with him most of all was that he was the first man I had ever seen command total respect…with his words” (Haley, 157). Malcolm, too, commanded respect from both white and black men with his powerful language and the double-edged sword of truth that slowly chipped at the obstinance and misconceptions held so dearly by all races, men, and women for centuries. He could, as told twice in his autobiography, form a riot in the streets of Harlem, command the people, and stop it without lifting a finger.
Even with his unparalleled leadership skills, Malcolm would not be known today if it was not for his gift of honesty. Malcolm’s transparency helped him to become a symbol of the civil rights movement, despite never acknowledging that...

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