Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement

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Why does Malcolm X discuss the details of his early life in Michigan, Boston, and New York?

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Malcolm X as a devout Muslim is using his own life to illustrate rising above one's circumstances by faith, hard work, and especially self education and knowledge of the true nature of America. He grew up extremely poor, but his poverty was caused by white supremacy and oppression. His father was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan because he was a supporter of Marcus Garvey. His mother was driven insane and wound up dying in a mental hospital. His father was educated and a successful pastor. If not for racist hatred, the family likely would have had a middle-class life.

Malcolm himself turned to crime after frustration with being told that as a black man, he would never be able to become a lawyer and then was forced to work low-wage jobs. His punishment for burglaries was far harsher since he was found living with a white girlfriend. Yet his conversion in...

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