Villager has an excellent post up commemorating what would have been the 83rd Birthday of Malcolm X yesterday. He notes the effect that reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X had on him by saying
I imagine that most Blackmen from my era recall reading this very thick book. Every Blackman could empathize with a brother that evolved from Malcolm Little to Detroit Red to Malcolm X to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. Each of us hoped that we would be transformed as well in our lives.
I agree Villager, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, along with Roots were critical towards my awareness of who I am. I'm sure the same can be said for millions more. Amazing that both books were written or co-written by Alex Haley.
It's also amazing to me that I'm lived (slightly, so far) longer than Malcolm X or Martin Luther King. I don't feel like my contribution to society is done, so I can only imagine what these two would have accomplished had they not been taken away from us so soon.
Please head over to the Electronic Village and check out this post, complete with audio clips of some of Malcolm's more famous speeches, and a scene from the 1992 movie. It'll be time well spent, especially if the only thing you know about Malcolm is the quote, "By any means necessary."