Chapter 15: Icarus

Study Questions
1. Who was Rosa Parks?

2. Why does Malcolm say it is “ridiculous” for Northern white and black Freedom Riders to demonstrate in the South?

3. What ethnic or religious groups does Malcolm use as examples of the problems with “assimilation”?

4. Who originally suggested having a March on Washington?

5. What song was sung during the 1963 Civil Rights’ March on Washington?

6. What two publications increased Malcolm’s popularity?

7. What situation does Malcolm cite to prove that Jewish people exploit black people?

8. Who does a New York Times poll indicate to be “the second most sought after” speaker at colleges and universities?

9. Who are the three most important prophets of the religion of Islam?

10. Malcolm believes that if he had not converted to the religion of Islam, his life would have been drastically different. What does he think he would have done?

Answers
1. Rosa Parks was an African-American resident of Montgomery, Alabama. In 1955, she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. Her action touched off a local boycott that eventually desegregated Montgomery’s buses, and also inspired more people to join the civil rights movement.

2. Malcolm says it is “ridiculous” for Northerners to go to the South to demonstrate since black people have severe social and economic problems in the North.

3. The Irish, English, French Canadians, Canadians, Jewish people, and the Germans all have had problems with assimilation.

4. A. Philip Randolph originally suggested having the March on Washington.

5. “We Shall Overcome” was sung during the March on Washington.

6. Lincoln’s book, The Black Muslims in America, and an interview with Malcolm that was printed in Playboy magazine, increased his popularity.

7. Malcolm cites the Jewish-owned businesses that, he claims, are in every black ghetto. He says these businesses help to maintain black poverty.

8. The poll indicates that Malcolm X is “the second most sought after” speaker at colleges and universities.

9. The three most important prophets are Jesus Christ, Mohammad, and Moses.

10. Malcolm believes he would have been dead, a convict, or a patient in an insane asylum.