He belonged to a Christian family where his father was a Baptist Minister and a strong supporter of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Movement. He had a tragic childhood that made him a burglar. While Malcolm X was a child, his house was set on fire one day and his family had to face constant harassment. Due to this, they migrated to Michigan where his father was murdered. His mother could not cope up with the needs of the family and the death of his father. She was finally committed to a mental institution. . [Malcolm X El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz , 2005]. Malcolm X and his siblings were send to different foster homes. [Malcolm X, 2005]. Although, he was a bright student, Malcolm X did not attain education after eighth grade. He migrated to New York were he worked as a waiter in Harlem. Later he was indulged in selling and using drugs, gambling and finally resorted to burglary. He was arrested at the age of 20 and sentenced to ten years of imprisonment. [Malcolm X, 2005]
The art of self-education guided Malcolm X to become a voracious reader and enhanced his language skills. While Malcolm X was in prison, his life took a drastic turn. He transformed himself from a burglar to a great follower of Islam. He learned the existence of Ejjah Mohammed and movements of the black Muslims from his siblings who had converted to Muslims. While he was in the prison, he started writing letters and only then, he realized his poor communication skill in English . Due to his immense dedication to enhance reading and writing skills, he got himself a dictionary. He started writing all the words and their meaning in a book and read them aloud. Through this technique, he improved his vocabulary. After acquiring this skill, he could read all the books with ease. He became a voracious reader and attained vast amount of knowledge through these books about slavery and the history of black civilization throughout the world. He read about Gandhi's struggle to attain freedom in India, Abolitionist Anti Slavery society, genetics, religion and philosophy. [Burke, 2004].
Due to the art of self- education, Malcolm X became one of the most influential leaders of the blacks in the 20th century. Due to the language skills that he had acquired in the prison, Malcolm X became a great spokesperson and propagated Islam. He fought for the dignity of the blacks and rose to the position of a minister at the Nation of Islam. [Malcolm X - Black American History, a history of black people in the United States, n. d]. Later he objected to certain viewpoints of Islam and deviated from it. He went to Mecca and propagated that not all whites were devils. He returned to United States and formed the organization of Afro-American Unity. Malcolm X attained this height of success through self-education. [Carson, n. d]. Through his exemplary communication skills, which he mastered through the art of self-education, helped him become a great spokesperson. If not for this technique of education, Malcolm X would have still lived his life in the streets of New York doing petty crimes. The reading habit that he acquired in the prison was his motivating factor in understanding the various concerns faced by the blacks and propelled him to fight for their justice.
Malcolm X exemplifies the benefits that an individual attains through self -education. This technique teaches an