What was Malcolm X's basic attitude toward the issue of education?

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Malcolm X had a complex attitude towards education. In his early life, documented well in Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X was kicked out of his school and sent to a juvenile detention center in Michigan. On his return to school, he excelled academically; however, it became clear to him that education was not a welcoming place for Black Americans. He dropped out of school at the age of fifteen.

Spending most of his early adult life as a petty criminal, Malcolm X claimed that his first experience of education was actually in prison, where he read a huge number of books, studying concepts such as Black Nationalism. He referred to this experience as stumbling on "homemade education".

Throughout his life as a civil rights leader and activist, Malcolm X pursued education himself by reading and writing as much as he could. However, he always expressed his frustration at how he did not pursue a formal education, and was recorded saying that he was prepared to return to school and study.

To summarize, Malcolm X clearly valued the role of education greatly. He thought that through education Black Americans could understand the forces that shaped the world against them. He was an advocate of the Black community educating themselves through reading and writing, even if they did not or could not attend traditional institutions. He viewed education as the path to stop white people from "brainwashing" Black people in America.

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