What was your first reaction on finishing the book?  

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My first impression was a contemplation of the long intellectual and philosophical journey he took and to wonder what greater contributions he might have made to racial respect and equality had he not been assassinated: It is a long step from being a separatist to being one who claims his position was in err and then softens his stance.

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For me, my reactions were similar in some ways to those of #2. I began to think a lot about what Malcolm X would say today about racism and discrimination, which has undeniably changed so much, but still exists in a very different form. How would he comment upon racism today and what would he do to try and take challenge racism further? What would he identify as the central battles? Fascinating questions to think about.

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There will be different answers to this question because I think that the work impacts different people on multiple levels.  For me, I was left moved by the power of transformation and the yearning to have seen Malcolm X live.  Simply put, what would he say if he were living today?  Could he have imagined a world that is so vastly different from his own condition?  What would he have said to a setting where racism and discrimination looks vastly different from what he experienced in the narrative?  I think that this is where I was when I finished reading the  book.  Even to this day, I don't think I can go far in articulating the power of the work in not describing the power of transformation and what it means to be a human being.  One of the most modern constructs is the idea of freedom and the ability to change oneself and Malcolm X embodies this.  From Malcolm Little to Detroit Red to Malcolm X to El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, there is a level of personal transformation that is unprecedented.  When we speak to kids about the idea of being whoever they want to be and always embracing change, Malcolm X becomes one of the foremost examples in proving this.

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