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Free Study Guide-The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X-Free Notes
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Chapters 17, 18, & 19

Summary (continued)

At the end of the pilgrimage, he wrote to all his friends who had helped him in his journey to the Holy Land of Mecca. He also wrote an open letter to be distributed to the press in the U.S. The letter speaks about the experiences he had on the way to Mecca and the conclusion he had come to. He states in the letter that, for the past eleven days, he had eaten, drunk, and prayed along with his fellow Muslims-Muslims whose eyes were blue and whose hair was blonde and whose skin was white. Yet, he was treated one among them praying to the one and the same God-Allah. He adds that their belief in one God had 'removed the 'white' from their minds the 'white' from their behavior, and the 'white' from their attitude.'

Malcolm concludes that Racist America is on a self-destructive path like racist Germany, which eventually destroyed her own people.

Yet he says that there is hope for America because he had met several Americans (whites) of the younger generation, and believed that these young whites will see the writing on the wall and not harm people due to differences of color.

Malcolm ends the letter saying that he was received with honor and warmth, wherever he went. Thanking Allah for everything, he signed the letter as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X).

The next chapter deals with Malcolm's trip back from Mecca. On his way back, he visited several African countries. Malcolm was really surprised at the reception he received here. For he wasn't aware how popular he had become all over the world. It is during this trip that he starts looking at the problem of blacks from a broader point of view i.e. he no longer looked at it from the narrow walls of religion alone, which itself had fundamentally changed in his trip to Mecca. Now, he began feeling the need for an International unity of blacks.


While Malcolm was away in Mecca, the press at home was linking his name with several violent incidents in the U.S. So, when Malcolm returned to the U.S., he called a press conference. The press too was eager to meet Malcolm X-El-Hajj Malik Shabazz.

At this interview he used the term of Afro-Americans whilst referring to blacks. And espoused the idea Pan-Africanism. In other words the problems of Afro-Americans should be treated as an international issue. Just as the African countries had benefited from the Organization of African Unity, Afro-Americans will be able to solve their problems through support from other African countries in the world. At the organization, he announced the formation of a new organization called the organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). For he now believed that the problems of blacks all over the world including America were the same, irrespective of the religion they followed.

After the interview, Malcolm received several letters from whites in America who sought membership in his new organization. But Malcolm refused. This is because he still felt that most whites in the U.S. had been so deeply schooled in racism that it had become their sub-conscious trait. Yet, his previous idea that all whites are devils had certainly changed. Another reason, why he refused membership to whites was because he felt that black members will never interact freely or confidently in the presence of a white.

In the chapter, Malcolm criticizes the U.S. Government propaganda, which made the racial problem in America to be an internal issue-a civil Rights issue, something that is rapidly on its way to a solution. Malcolm counters this false propaganda both in America and abroad.

The last chapter: 1965, does not have any detail of Malcolm's activities during that year. The chapter just sums up Malcolm's ideas on racism, American society in general, the premonitions of his death and the purpose of his book-his Autobiography.

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