Topic: LiteratureWriters

Last updated: February 14, 2020

Malcolm X and Richard Wright were two writers whose identities were shaped by their reading and writing. Both writers were African Americans.Wright was born in 1908 in the south where it was segregated, the civil war just brought freedom millions of slaves in the south.While Malcolm X he went to jail at 1946 Malcolm had it because there were years apart, so that why Malcolm X was able to read books at prison.One important difference between Wright and Malcolm X, is that Malcolm was in prison and Wright stayed out of trouble, he was afraid to speak up, also Malcolm had easier access to the library due to being in jail and books being the absolute best way to pass time, while Wright had a difficult time because it wasn’t allowed for a black man to try and self-educate in public libraries. Despite these differences, they were determined to learn, even though it was tough for them.
Wright and Malcolm X became more educated by being self-taught. They had the same struggle equally, even though they learned reading and writing in different places and ways. Malcolm X had efficient access to the library in prison, they were allowed to get books. Wright had found a newspaper in the bank one morning, denouncing a man named Mencken. Mencken was a white author who expressed his anger for prejudice mindsets, and Wright had found it strange that white men would publicly humiliate another white man. Out of sheer curiosity Wright wanted to learned more about Mencken. I think from that point on, that’s when Wright had the courage to ask a co-worker from work Mr. Falk, who he figured would be less likely to betray him, if he can help him obtain some books about Mencken. Mr. Falk gave him his library card so he can get access to the library, but Wright had forged notes in order to get pass the Liberian receptionist who was strictly against blacks. After reading up on Mencken, Wright learned ways to express himself in such ways that made words seem like weapons. Malcolm X’s circumstance were different because didn’t have anyone to teach him to read and write. Malcolm X had trouble reading, he looked at the dictionary for the words he didn’t understand. He began to copy the dictionary, and read them back out loud. He began to remember the words and what they meant. He was so fascinated that he went on and copied the next page of the dictionary and he had the same experience when he studied. Malcolm wanted to expand his knowledge to emulate his friend Bimbi and he wanted to engaged in conversations to be a leader, though subconsciously he discovered that words were a form of a weapon. Malcom X and Wright had similar motivations to read more and use their knowledge as a weapon.
Malcolm X and Wright changed as they began to read more and more, their hunger for knowledge grew as they continued acquiring more information. For example, Wright said in the article “Now it surged up again and I hungered for books, new ways of looking and seeing. It was not a matter of believing or disbelieving what I read, but of feeling somehow new, of being affected by something that made the look of the world different.” Wright expresses his hunger for knowledge, and having seen the words in his mind written on paper through someone else’s perspective made him feel more empowered and encouraged to learn more. Malcolm X also shared this hunger for reading books. When he started reading seriously every night at ten pm, they turned off the lights while he was in the middle of something interesting, he would become upset. While the lights were off he wanted to keep reading, luckily for Malcolm he had a shine from the moon that entered his cell, he sats by the moonlight shine so he can manage to read and he went on reading till morning. He only slept three or four hours, it was enough for him. What is similar about Wright and Malcolm X is there wanting to read grew into a passion for them. How they began reading, there was an internal change emotional and psychological while they were reading, every time they learn they learned something new, they saw the world differently. The difference between Malcolm X and Wright was the way they expressed what they learned. The knowledge Malcolm X had, he used publicly and influenced others, while Wright had to hide the knowledge he had learned.
Knowledge affected Malcolm X and Wright in different ways, but both equally as powerful. Wright said ” I felt trapped and occasionally, for a few days I would stop reading.” That affected wright because everything he was reading, it was overwhelming, it had changed his outlook on the world. Reading about Mencken, and the way he expressed himself, thinking that most white men, never cared for blacks and that was the way the world should be. Mencken was the first step into making Wright express himself the way he did, the knowledge he obtain inspired him to write about the words in his thoughts that he was to afraid to express in person. Malcolm X on the other hand said “I knew right there in prison had changed forever the course of my life” jail influence him to do better because he wanted to learn more knowledge to influence other peoples lives, and be a leader for those who felt like he did. Malcolm X and Wright with their new education and knowledge both possibly influenced the world in two different ways as to where Wright took a peaceful approach and Malcolm X took a more aggressive approach. Though fighting for the same cause they feel in to different lanes. Malcom X became a human rights activist while Wright became an African American Writer. Malcolm was a powerful public speaker, who acted as a leader to may, while Wright used his knowledge by being a writer and being a symbol that black men can obtain positions of power.
Malcolm X and Wright life experiences inspired me with my education goals, that nothing is impossible, you can do anything if you’re willing to learn, even you ‘re in jail or whether you running doing errands but still manage to learn reading and writing. The life experience I connect more was Wright, I think I resemble him because I can picture myself doing the same actions, for example, asking a guy to get access to the library so he can read, hide his knowledge because the people would look at him differently. I understand the power of education it’s extremely powerful because when I was reading a book I didn’t really know what was going on but by reading more and practicing, looking up words you don’t understand, you can ask a friend to teach you to help you understand better. Malcolm X and Wright personal qualities it’s that they never give up, their obstacles it’s when they didn’t understand there reading, Wright looks the words he didn’t understand but he overcame that obstacle and now he helping African American so they don’t get advantage off, so they understand how to be treated, their rights. Malcolm X obstacle was that he was in jail, but he was able to learn reading and writing in jail. If he wasn’t in jail I don’t think he would get his life together. I do possess the qualities of Malcolm x and Wright, were persistent. I’m persistent because I didn’t give up on taking the HSE Diploma I didn’t give up and now I’m at college, being able to continue your education it’s a powerful weapon to succeed. There persistent because they didn’t give up on their education. The difference between Malcolm X and Wright it’s that they were more determined than me, even though they had struggles.


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