The primary social climate upon which Malcolm X places his laser- like focus is the condition of racism in America in both its present at the time of writing and in its history. In the most fundamental of ways, Malcolm believes that racism is the cause of so much of "American sin" and represents the target towards which so much of anger is directed. He analyzes this from both a social and personal point of view. In Malcolm's mind, racism in America was the reason why his father was killed, why his mother was institutionalized, and why his family was separated. It was also the reason why Malcolm sees so much oppression in Black communities across America and why he feels that the issue of racism has to be addressed in order for America to be a nation that can both survive and prosper.
While Malcolm undergoes a great many changes in the course of the narrative, his commitment to ending racism is something that does not change. His own narrative proves to be a stunningly compelling piece of evidence as to the corrosive nature of racism in America in the lives of people of color. He is deliberate about this. He understands this to be the work's overall meaning and one that he hopes will address the fundamental socio- political challenge of racism in America.