Reading Response to Malcolm X- Daniel L. Perez

Significant Quote 1: “I had really begun back in the Charlestown Prison, when Bimbi first made me feel envy of his stock of knowledge. Bimbi had always taken charge of any conversation he was in, and I had tried to emulate him. But every book I picked up had few sentences which didn’t contain anywhere from one to nearly all of the words that might as well have been in Chinese. When I just skipped those words, of course, I really ended up with little idea of what the book said. So I had come to the Norfolk Prison Colony still going through only book-reading motions. Pretty soon, I would have quit even these motions, unless I had received the motivation that I did.” (Page 1, Paragraph 2)

Malcolm is more than just a bundle of knowledge, he takes negative feeling and emotions from around him and uses it as motivation. In this paragraph, Malcolm explains that he didn’t start broadcasting his knowledge and influence on TV or on the Radio, it started in a cell which would be located in Charlestown Prison. Bimbi was a fellow inmate that caused Malcolm to feel envy because of his knowledge and how he would always be in control of “any conversation he was in”. Malcolm admits that he even tried to emulate Bimbi, but the only thing he felt was stopping him from being as empowering was his lack of vocabulary, “…all of the words that might as well have been in Chinese”. Malcolm continues to explain his struggle, he would skip all the words that were misunderstood and ended up with almost nothing to read. In the late 1940’s Malcolm continued in Norfolk Prison Colony with the same word skipping process(book-reading motions). In the last sentence, Malcolm explains he would even quit if it wasn’t for the motivation he had recieved.

Significant Quote 2: “I spent two days just riffling uncertainty through the dictionary’s pages. I’d never realized so many words existed! I didn’t know which words I needed to learn. Finally, just to start some kind of action, I began copying.” (Page 1, Paragraph 4)

When it comes to being determined and having motivation, Malcolm will not be stopped. Eventually, he had requested a dictionary due to his lack of literacy. He spent two whole days going through all the dictionary pages without knowledge of most of the words he would come across. He felt such a lack of knowledge that he’s surprised “so many words existed!”. Malcolm didn’t know which words to learn, so instead of doing nothing he proceeded to copy all of the words he came across.

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