“Words room the devices for the task of speak what you want to say.” –Bergen Evans, Lexicographer

As our vocabulary broadens it becomes much easier to to express ourselves—to articulate the information of our thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, likes, and also dislikes. Just imagine not being able to express you yourself in your composing or in her speech and also that would certainly make friend feel. Frustrating right? fine that’s what drive Malcolm X to the dictionary. The place where he discovered the power of words.

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The essay starts through Malcolm explaining his call to action in the community of Harlem, brand-new York where he composed his an initial set of letter to troubled locals around Allah, Islam, and also Elijah Muhammad. As soon as he didn’t receive a reply to any of these letters he wonder why and quickly realized that countless in his ar were also uneducated to review a letter permit alone create a response back. Malcolm X additionally notes the his letters mostly addressed his check out of the “the white male was the devil” and this can be a factor in why world chose no to compose him ago even when he was in prison.

Malcolm X lived 2 lives. One as an articulate hustler top top the streets of new York who wrote in slang. Yet then that lived an additional life as he noticed that his straightforward English wasn’t really articulate or even functional for the audience of educated civilization he do the efforts to write to. Like when he created to the mayor of Boston, come the branch of Massachusetts, and even to Harry S. Truman they probably never also saw his letters due to the fact that they to be handwritten pieces of sensible language—misunderstood by those who were actually articulate and also rhetorical correct.

“Many who now hear me what in person, or ~ above television, or those who review something i have said, will certainly think i went to college far beyond eighth grade. This impression is because of my jail studies.” –Malcolm X

Malcolm X to be an inmate in ~ the Charlestown Prison, wherein he met a guy he refers to only as ‘Bimbi.’ Bimbi speak intelligently, took fee of conversation he to be in, and also inspired Malcolm X to imitate these actions. He discovered himself analysis through book after book and was shortly unsatisfied through these motions. Malcolm X determined that the finest thing to execute was get hold that a dictionary in order come study and also learn brand-new words. When he did the would practice his penmanship and flip v pages that the dictionary. Malcolm didn’t also know so numerous words existed. He started with the very first page copying all the words and also their definitions, analysis them aloud, and also studying lock again the following morning. He did this faithfully every day until he devoured the whole dictionary.

“I might for the an initial time choose up a book and read and now begin to know what the publication was saying. Everyone who has actually read a an excellent deal have the right to imagine the new world the opened.” –Malcolm X

Malcolm X spent months not even thinking around the reality that he to be imprisoned. The escaped with Muhammad’s teachings, correspondence, visitors, and of course reading books.


“I never had actually been for this reason truly free in my life.” –Malcolm X


Clark, Virginia, and Paul Eschholz, Alfred Rosa. Language Awareness. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. Print.

“Stand your Ground, Malcolm and also me” Chicago Now: The responsibility of Freedom. Walter Mitchell Jr, 2012. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.

Increase mine Knowledge. “Malcolm X – 06 – The Ballot or the Bullet” Online video clip clip. YouTube, 16 Mar. 2011. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.

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“THE an interpretation OF MALCOLM” commentary Archive. Donovan X. Ramsey, 2011. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.