The Autobiography of Malcolm X Chapter 13: Minister Malcolm X

Malcolm X, Alex Haley

Chapter 13: Minister Malcolm X

New People:
Brother Lloyd X: a Muslim follower in Boston, Massachusetts

Brother Osborne: a Muslim follower in Springfield, Massachusetts

Brother James X: a Muslim follower in Atlanta, Georgia

Sister Betty X: Malcolm’s wife

Brother John Ali and his wife: a couple who share a house with Malcolm and his wife in Queens, New York

Various Brothers and Sisters: Muslim followers

Summary
Malcolm quits his factory job to work full-time spreading Elijah Muhammad’s teachings. He travels all along the East Coast, opening numerous Muslim temples. He visits several of his old friends in Boston, including Shorty and West Indian Archie. In 1958, he marries Betty X.

Malcolm is appointed minister of Temple Seven in New York City’s Harlem, and he and Betty move to Queens, New York. Malcolm is disgusted and angered when two Muslim brothers become victims of police brutality in Harlem. Malcolm effectively handles the potentially explosive situation.

Analysis
Malcolm is assimilating extraordinarily well in his new life, earning the respect of both Elijah Muhammad and his peers. Malcolm’s current lifestyle bears no resemblance to his days of street hustling and thievery. This contrast is further evidenced when Malcolm visits Boston and observes the marked decline of his old friends.

As the chapter concludes, Malcolm demonstrates his growing maturity and evolution. Two Muslim men have been hit in the head with nightsticks by white policemen, who were breaking up a street scuffle. Malcolm immediately assumes control of this potentially explosive situation. He leads a large group of Muslims on a peaceful march to Harlem Hospital, where the injured men are being treated. Malcolm writes, “Harlem’s black people...never had seen any organization of black men take a firm stand as we were.”