Malcolm X Chapter Summary

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The autobiography relates instances of voyage and change to explain the simultaneous physical and spiritual aspects of Malcolm’s transformations. Malcolm experiences numerous fast and total conversions, and each involves first traveling to a far, confusing place. In his travels, Malcolm is searching for both a home and a philosophy. When he moves to Boston, he quickly absorbs the activities of those around him, taking up lavish street-style zoot suits, marijuana, jazz, gambling, and petty crime. Similarly, in prison he begins to emulate intelligent and reflective prisoners, such as Bibi, and eventually reinvents himself as a worldly individual and devoted Muslim. When he is expelled from the Nation of Islam and makes the pilgrimage to Mecca,…show more content…
But back then it was Islam according to Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam—an odd cult whose principles of racial hatred and separatism, and whose strange beliefs about whites being a genetically engineered race of “devils,” stood it in contrast with Islam’s more orthodox teachings. Malcolm X bought in and rapidly rose in the ranks of the organization, which was more like a neighborhood guild, albeit a disciplined and enthusiastic one, than a “nation” when Malcolm arrived. Later on when Malcolm came in Mecca, It was that sight that inspired his famous “Letters from Abroad”—three letters, one from Saudi Arabia, one from Nigeria and one from Ghana—that began redefining Malcolm X’s philosophy. “America,” he wrote from Saudi Arabia on April 20, 1964, “needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases the race problem from its society.” He would later concede that “the white man is not inherently evil, but America’s racist society influences him to act…show more content…
Malcolm has no trouble receiving financial backing from Ella, who has also withdrawn from the Nation of Islam. When Malcolm applies for a hajj visa, he learns that his status as a Muslim must be approved by Mahmoud Youssef Shawarbi, a Muslim United Nations advisor. Malcolm leaves the United States and goes to see sights in Cairo. He then flies to Jedda, Saudi Arabia, where officials confiscate his passport and tell him a high court must establish whether or not he is a true Muslim. Officials send him to a crowded airport dormitory, where he reflects on the various languages, colors, and customs of the Muslims around him. Malcolm calls Omar Azzam, a friend of Shawarbi’s, for help. Azzam vacates his father’s suite at the Jedda Palace Hotel for Malcolm. This hospitality impresses Malcolm, who enjoys fine food and conversation with Jedda’s elite and is lent a car by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal himself to make the hajj to

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