Education Malcolm X was a moving motivational speaker. He was able to speak and have the whole world listen. The way he dictates his words within his speech, would make you think he was very educated and probably had a college degree. The truth is Malcolm X only finished school through the eighth grade. In his book “Prison Studies”, Malcolm X confesses that most of his education was retrieved while serving in prison. I believe that his “homemade education”, laid the pavement for his major accomplishments in life.
If Malcolm X did not have the motivation to progress his education, then I believe he would have chosen the life of a criminal instead of a motivational speaker. In the beginning of his prison stay Malcolm X confesses his jealousy for the other inmates who could read. He states in his book, “Bimbi made me feel envy of his stock of knowledge. Bimbi had always taken charge of any conversation he was in, and I tried to emulate him. But every book I picked up had few sentences which didn’t contain anywhere from one to nearly all of the words that might as well have been Chinese. Malcolm X wanted to read and learn about the world. He requested a dictionary, tablets and a pen and began to write the dictionary page for page. After the first night of writing he discovered that he soaked up a lot of information, more than he ever thought he could. This went on and on until he had completed the whole dictionary. After his dictionary studies ended Malcolm X started to pick up books and actually understood what he read. For the first time in his life he was actually learning without being terribly confused.
There is a well-defined comfort for those who visit book stores and libraries. The books are there like faithful friends waiting to be called upon, read, valued, and appreciated. Let us not also forget, however, the joy and anticipation when visiting used book stores. They are everywhere, and they all tell a story; but not only from within the pages. They have a history; they came from somewhere; ...
His new found talent gave Malcolm X a sense of freedom; he felt the world was his to take. He started checking out a lot of books from the prison library. Because he was known as an avid reader, he was able to check out more than the average inmate. He read from morning until night, he enjoyed his alone time with his books that took him to another city, country, or even another world. He spent most of his reading time in the small cell he was assigned. He even went on to say that time passed so quickly he wasn’t even aware that he was imprisoned for most of the time.
He believed that his education from prison well exceeded the education he would have obtained in college. He thought there were too many distractions for college students. Prison became a class room for Malcolm X. Because of his studies in prison Malcolm X was able to have educational conversations that he only dreamed about before his stay in prison. Reading awoke an urge inside of him; a craving to be mentally alive. Malcolm X left prison with a new outlook on life.
He decided he was going to take a different road than his family did in the past; he was going to live in his father’s legacy and fight against the white man. Without Malcolm X’s experience in prison, I believe his life would have taken a different path. Maybe the path of crime, or maybe just a simple job where he raised his own family in the type of setting he was raised in. He pressed against what was said to be normal for the black man, and made a big impact while doing so. Malcolm x’s story will forever be taught. And will serve as an inspiration for many.