Malcolm X’s Essay, Learning to Read


Malcolm X’s essay Learning to Read informs readers about his struggles in becoming literate and his inspirational path toward literacy. According to him, reading remains as vital a part of daily life for people as it was for him in terms of developing morals and beliefs that shape lives today.

After his education, he discovered the horrendous history of slavery and became an activist for civil rights.

How did he learn to read?

Malcolm X was brilliant and eager to learn, earning top grades in school and being elected class president. At age 15, however, he left education altogether due to being denied his dream of becoming an attorney because of racial discrimination from teachers. This turned into a pivotal moment, allowing him to realize the education system wasn’t helping him reach his full potential.

Malcolm X began reading books while imprisoned. He discovered a passion for learning and studied subjects ranging from genetics to African American history – reading allowed him to broaden his views of the world while understanding his oppression better.

He began writing letters to people, such as his wife and family. Through writing, he could express himself more effectively than through speech alone. Unfortunately, however, grammar and spelling proved difficult until he eventually learned how to spell and write correctly.

He developed his literacy skills throughout his time in prison and, upon release, became a well-read individual with an extensive vocabulary. Furthermore, these newfound abilities allowed him to form an organization to assist black people.

What did he do to learn to read?

Malcolm X had to overcome numerous challenges throughout his life. After dropping out of grade 8 schooling and being jailed for criminal activity at such an early age, he used this time reading books from their library in prison to become literate – later using this knowledge as the cornerstone for becoming an influential voice for black communities and human rights activist despite never receiving formal education himself. Utilizing rhetoric strategies such as ethos and kairotic moments, he managed to persuade audiences despite lacking legal credentials!

He used his personal experiences to inspire others to take charge of their lives and take advantage of all opportunities presented. He argued that injustice existed throughout society and thus education was necessary to spot it; his goal was to demonstrate how anyone with limited resources can succeed through reading.

He noted that motivation and determination were necessary to become literate, drawing from personal experience as evidence that anyone can learn to read with enough determination and motivation. He encouraged his readers to read as often as possible to improve their quality of life while asserting that reading could provide more knowledge of the world and black history than any classroom setting could.

What did he learn from learning to read?

Malcolm X gained much from learning how to read, including learning about other people’s ideas, history, archeology, and religion, and developing his philosophy and the importance of education within society.

Once he learned to read, he devoured all the books available to him and copied down dictionaries for use as reference guides. He wanted to express himself more clearly via letters rather than street slang; additionally, he tried to comprehend writings from fellow prisoners.

Through his writings, he spread his ideas about education’s importance for improving lives and its effects on all races over time. Additionally, he wrote extensively about how the white community had taken advantage of every race over time; these writings motivate anyone searching for inspiration, specifically aimed at African Americans but appreciated by anyone seeking cause or those curious about literacy’s effects. It makes an inspiring read!

What did he learn from not learning to read?

Malcolm X explores his life as an uneducated black American, living through numerous hardships before becoming a civil rights activist. He uses this personal history to motivate his audience that no matter how difficult life may seem, you can achieve whatever goals you set if you remain determined and persevere. Malcolm also asserts that white people have often committed egregious wrongs against non-whites; for an educated opinion to form regarding this issue, it’s necessary for people to research all sides of each story before deciding on this issue.

Malcolm X discusses his desire and motivation to learn how to read in this piece. When first imprisoned at Charlestown Prison, he became jealous of Bimbi’s ability to communicate via written words; therefore, he began reading books without understanding their meaning, thus initiating his “homemade education.”

He details how slowly his eyes were opened to the reality that the white world had done great harm to non-whites and that they could only discover these facts and change society through reading independently. Reading awakens in people an irrepressible desire to remain mentally alive.