X a Novel
What I knew about Malcolm X was strictly about his grown up
life. Until I read X a Novel, based on his life story, by Ilyasah
Shabazz (his third daughter) and Kekla Magoon, I had no knowledge of
the tumultuous youth that led to his strong adult convictions.
Malcolm started out as Malcolm Little, one of eight children in
a black close knit family. His father, a friend of Marcus Garvey,
taught and preached about better days. His mother had her children
study literature and black history. They wanted their kids to take
pride in themselves and have hope for their futures.
Sadly society didn't share that goal. Everywhere they went
black children were confronted with reminders of their second-class
status. "...you could not say how you felt or what you thought, and
you had to keep your head down low when a white person passed you on
the road. You had to use a low, dirty water fountain, right next to
the high, clean one for the whites. You had to ride in the back of
the bus or the streetcar, and you couldn't sit down unless no whites
were on board."
Early on Malcolm learned the hard way the differences between
his parents' worldview and that of the dominant society. His father
died under very suspicious circumstances. His mother was hounded
relentlessly by social services until she was involuntarily committed
and her children put into foster homes. On the bus ride to Boston
where he would live with an older half sister he rode by a hanged
black man still swinging from a tree branch.
Boston and eventually Harlem opened new worlds for Malcolm.
Unfortunately he was also introduced to serious dangers. You can read
the riveting story in X a Novel. I highly recommend this fine book
for YAs and adult adults.
On a personal note, I learned recently that my September birthday will
make me eligible for free classes at UMaine in 2016. YOWZA. What I
want to do is go part time, taking classes that will help me with my
writing and with getting published.
A great big shout out goes out to the UMaine students and faculty who
are hopefully enjoying vaca.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod