Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would suggest that I think that the primary political purpose of Malcolm X was to suggest an alternative social and political path for people of color during the Civil Rights Era.  Malcolm X spoke for a particular narrative in the time period.  For many, Dr. King's approach was something that might not have immediately applied to their own predicament.  Racial prejudices, as Dr. King was to find out later, were fundamentally different in the North than they were in the South.  The "enemy" in the South was much more clear and defined than the insidious challenges of discrimination found in the North.  For many, Malcolm X spoke to this condition in the fact that he was one of them.  His political base of support consisted mostly of Northern African- Americans from urban setting that might not have experienced the full force of overt racism that was present in the South.  Rather, they underwent the covert racism that was in the North.  They were victimized by the type of racial discrimination that was hard to particularly identity.  Malcolm X understood this because he was forced to endure this.  It is here where Malcolm X's political purpose is most evident.  In being able to convey the struggle and challenge that was present in Northern racism, Malcolm X served a vital and useful political purpose to many people of color who could not immediately embrace the fight that Dr. King was waging in the South.

Read the study guide:
The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question