Malcolm X and Education
By Faisal Amjad

What Malcolm X thought about learning

Published in: Self, History
Date: 17 / 04 / 17

Malcolm X is a fascinating educational model – not because he was an academic or had any scholastic achievements but as an example of what can be achieved by someone who engages in self-education.

Malcolm read and read and read. He devoured books on history and was astounded at the knowledge he obtained about the history of black civilizations throughout the world. He read books by Gandhi on the struggle in India, he read about African colonization and China’s Opium Wars. He found pamphlets of the Abolitionist Anti-Slavery Society and read for himself descriptions of atrocities committed against the slaves and of the degradations suffered by his forbears. “I never will forget how shocked I was when I began reading about slavery’s total horror ... Book after book showed me how the white man had brought upon the world’s black, brown, red and yellow peoples every variety of the sufferings of exploitation”. His reading was not limited to history, however. He read about genetics and philosophy. He read about religion.

"Ten guards and the warden couldn’t have torn me out of those books ... I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life”.

He never stopped wanting to learn. “I would just like to study. I mean ranging study, because I have a wide-open mind. I’m interested in almost any subject you can mention”.

He ran classes for young people where he taught “We have got to get over the brainwashing we had ... get out of your mind what the man put in it ... Read everything. You never know where you're going to get an idea. We have to learn how to think..."

Faisal Amjad

About the author

I am a history buff and love all things business!

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