Sunday Collection: 5 Books Every Black Man Should Read Before 25
Book #1: The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Welcome to The Sunday Collection
Every Sunday, we’ll be highlighting a book from a collection of books we think will help you strive forward in life.
We’re starting with five books every black man should read before 25.
Book #1: The Autobiography of Malcolm X, written by Alex Haley
Why is this a good read?
The autobiography of Malcolm X gives black men today a glimpse into the life and world of Malcolm X.
Born Malcolm Little by a white mother and black father, the book takes us through his life and times.
It gives us a perspective of a black man who truly embodies change and growth like a classic American Hero.
Malcolm was a learning man at all times.
Why should young black men read this book?
Malcolm X's story is one that black men can see as an inspiration that gives us a desire to see our world in more significant terms.
When he was only a child, his father was murdered brutally by white racists.
Afterward, when living with his mother and other siblings, white welfare officials harassed his mixed mother, claiming she couldn't care for her children.
They forced the family to be separated, which left Malcolm to learn from the streets to survive.
These experiences built a pessimism about life as a black man in America kept him operating in a low frequency.
Famously, Malcolm turned to the dark side of life and lived as a pimp, drug dealer, and robber.
“And because I had been a hustler, I knew better than all whites knew, and better than nearly all of the black 'leaders' knew, that actually the most dangerous black man in America was the ghetto hustler. Why do I say this?
The hustler, out there in the ghetto jungles, has less respect for the white power structure than any other Negro in North America. The ghetto hustler is internally restrained by nothing. He has no religion, no concept of morality, no civic responsibility, no fear--nothing.
To survive, he is out there constantly preying upon others, probing for any human weakness like a ferret. The ghetto hustler is forever frustrated, restless, and anxious for some 'action'. Whatever he undertakes, he commits himself to it fully, absolutely.
What makes the ghetto hustler yet more dangerous is his 'glamour' image to the school-dropout youth in the ghetto. These ghetto teen-agers see the hell caught by their parents struggling to get somewhere, or see that they have given up struggling in the prejudiced, intolerant white man’s world.
The ghetto teen-agers make up their own minds they would rather be like the hustlers whom they see dressed ‘sharp’ and flashing money and displaying no respect for anybody or anything. So the ghetto youth become attracted to the hustler worlds of dope, thievery, prostitution, and general crime and immorality.”
― Malcolm X
As a Black man in America, constantly dealing with racism and its psychological effects can leave us cold, uncaring, and resistant to expecting nothing from others.
Whether towards blacks or whites.
It took Malcolm prison time, mentorship, and a religious awakening for him to begin to use his God-given abilities in a way to spark change.
It was a road that was characterized by his pain, and he was only creating pain.
Young black men can relate to feeling desperate for peace.
They are trying to find a slice of sanity away from racism's pervasive nature in everyday life.
Oneness in yourself isn't easily achievable with many outside distractions.
Malcolm learned to be patient with himself.
He built an eagerness to find the truth.
He listened to his mentors and was unable to unlock a higher version of himself.
Malcolm completely changed your life.
His story inspires us all to unlock our potential hidden behind the trauma and pain of our experiences.
Shaking the Status Quo
“So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.”
― Malcolm X
In life, you have to be willing to push up against the culture to shape it into something new.
You have to think of it as clay on a spinning wheel.
It's morphable and in need of constant guidance with your hands.
Malcolm embodied this when he left prison and toured black communities speaking to them of new ideas of black freedom.
To break away, to embrace segregation, to not want to be with the white man.
The rebellion to Martin Luther King Jr's peace-making mission, He spoke to the community's underbelly, which is always the substantial majority of all people.
The folks being beaten in the streets, not the ones going to the ivy league colleges.
The ones being lynched in backwater towns, not the ones who were able to sit and debate legislation.
For all the good and bad Malcolm X may have derived out of the regular black man, he spoke to a rage and anger that had been festering for generations no one had spoken to before.
“Despite my firm convictions, I have been always a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.”
― Malcolm X
The 1960s were a time of change, similar to what the 2020s seem to be delivering on.
So what’s the biggest lesson to take away from the book and life of Malcolm X?
Conclusions: Resting in Power
“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one” – Confucius
The greatest gift Malcolm X left with us was his unwavering ability to adjust his ideas based on facts and information.
To be bendable and true to his morals over his ideologies.
In a world of sides, dichotomies, and social control, it is critical that our values are our guiding principles.
When Malcolm X went his own way, he saw more of the human experience outside of America.
Seeing what Mecca was like, full of people of all races living in peace.
It gave him a perspective that changed his worldview.
How many of us are willing to open up, be new, embrace the vulnerability and the risk that comes with going against the grain?
It isn't easy. And if we can be 1/10th the man that Malcolm X was, we are headed towards a path of truth, bliss, and honor that no one will ever be able to take away from us.
“One day, may we all meet together in the light of understanding.”
― Malcolm X
To read the book you can find it here.
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