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Autobiography of Malcolm X Analysis

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Autobiography of Malcolm X Analysis

Malcolm spent his entire life striving to find someone who could play the role of a father figure. Perhaps this was because was only eight-years-old when his father was brutally murdered. Malcolm was very attached to his father. Malcolm was amazed with his father's public relations skills and his ability to entertain a crowd (5). Malcolm also enjoyed the private meetings that his father held because it showed a more serious, intense side to his father. Malcolm believed attending these events won him favor with his father. "One of the reasons I've always felt that my father favored me was....it was only me that he sometimes took with him to the Garvey U.N.I.A. meeting" (6). With his mentor now gone, Malcolm would be lost. Who could he turn to? Who would show him the way?

Later on in his life, Malcolm moves to Boston where he meets "Shorty", a small time hustler who was ten years his elder (6). Shorty took on Malcolm like a son, influencing him to change his lifestyle as well as his image. Malcolm began wearing zoot suits and even "conked" his hair (55). "I'd seen some pretty conks, but when it's the first time, on your own head, the transformation, after the lifetime of kinks, is staggering" (56). Shorty also got Malcolm his first job (48). The job and lifestyle would later lead to Malcolm getting sentenced to ten years in jail (154). Malcolm was a victim of influence, and understandably so. Shorty called him his "homeboy" and took him under his wing to "school him to the happenings" (46). Malcolm looked at Shorty like a father figure. He just wanted to be accepted and have an opportunity to fill the empty space in his life that was made vacant so many years ago.

In February, 1946, Malcolm was sentenced to ten years in Charlestown Prison (155). The first man that made "a positive impression" on him in prison was a "fellow inmate, 'Bimbi'" (156). Bimbi was self-educated from the prison library. He spoke on many topics. Malcolm was fascinated with the way Bimbi commanded total respect with his words. Whites normally wouldn't want to listen to Negros speak about anything, "but guards, even, would wander over close to hear Bimbi on any subject" (157). Heeding Bimbi's advice, Malcolm began taking correspondence courses, but also began hustling. He played dominoes for packs of cigarettes and he "booked cigarette and money bets on fights and ball games" (158). Malcolm was constantly on the look-out for the man who would be able to step in as a father figure and guide him through his current situations. Bimbi had run his course. Malcolm received news that would take him down a new path.

Malcolm was introduced to the most influential man of his life by his own family. They had



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