The Autobiography of Malcolm X

by Malcolm X, Alex Haley

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Why is chapter 11 in the Malcolm X autobiography called "Saved"?

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The title of chapter 11 refers to Malcolm taking in the teaching of the Nation of Islam, and in particular, the Honorable Elijah Muhammed.  If we examine, we can start to see that the things Malcolm does, the steps he takes, and the ideas that animate him are, in his mind, the first advances from breaking away from the enslaved mentality that had harangued him in his pre Nation of Islam life.  In a sense, he has hit "rock bottom" and it was at this moment that the teachings of Islam had revealed themselves as a way for him to improve his life and discover the real notion of "T"ruth.  With this in mind, he proceeds to "reclaim" his voice as a Black man in America with examining and reexamining history, what is told and what is not, language, what is meant and what is not, and racial identity in American, what is intimated and what is not. With these ideological weapons in hand, Malcolm is "saved" from a life that would have led to a lack of spiritual fulfillment.

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