What is the historical content in Chapter 11 of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, "Saved"?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In terms of this historical events that were happening at the time of the "Saved" chapter, I think that Malcolm gives a hint when he says he was writing to President Truman.  At this point, World War II is over and the new post- World War II setting is beginning to take hold.  The division over Communist parts of the world and the non- Communist parts of the world in the Cold War is dominant in the news and in the historical reality of the time.  For Malcolm, though, this is not as relevant because it does not adequately represent the racial struggle that he has become aware has dominated his own life and something that he believes dominates all consciousness.  Part of the reason that there is not much in way of historical events or content revealed in the chapter is because so much of it is devoted to Malcolm's own intellectual awakening.  His learning how to read and write, as well as absorbing philosophical and historical texts are all a part of this journey.  Malcolm indicates that he was alone in this, preferring to read in his cell or away from others.  In this internal cocoon of intellectual advancement, there is not much relayed about the outside world because, frankly, little of that mattered to Malcolm as he was developing his keen sense of understanding and intellect about what it was to be a person of color in America.

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X

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