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Learning to Read -Malcolm X

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Grace Bailey

on 20 April 2015

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Transcript of Learning to Read -Malcolm X

Rhetorical Devices
- Tone
- Diction
- Allusion

Educated, yet understandable.
X's tone shifts as his topic changes.
Shows his knowledge, and where it came from.
Learning to Read
-Malcolm X
-Analyze why X used "the white man" as a subject throughout.

-Why do you think he stated, "I have never been so truly free in my life," even though her was in prison? (X )

-What is the best way to learn?
-(on your own, classes, homework, etc)

-How does this essay relate to Malcolm X's fight for civil rights?

Reading is the best way to learn.
Four-Corners, Six Questions
Blacks are misrepresented in history.
I, like Malcolm, prefer to read in complete isolation.
"I found books like Will Durant's Story of Civilization. I read H. G. Wells' Outline of History, Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois gave me a glimpse into the black people's history before the came to this country." (X 22)
"'Kill the foreign white devils!" was the 1901 Chinese war cry in the Boxer Rebellion. Losing again ... the white man put up the famous signs, 'Chinese and dogs not allowed.'" (X 36)
Black Pride,
Encounter with new knowledge
Give other example of hated white man
Reference to history shows depth of knowledge
"The American black man is the world's most shameful case of minority oppression ... How is the black man going to get 'civil rights' before he wins his human rights?" (X 42)
Tone shifts to Anger
Becomes a call to political action for his audience
Speaking out against the "white man"
"I saw that the best thing I could do was get ahold of a dictionary -- to study, to learn some words. I was lucky enough to reason that I should try to improve my penmanship." (X 5)
Tone is relaxed, yet formal.
He is passive in his narration on his past
"I suppose it was inevitable that as my word-base broadened, I could for the first time pick up a book and read and now begin to understand what the book was saying." (X 11)
"Many who today hear me somewhere in person, or on television, or those who read something I've said, will think I went to school far beyond the eighth grade. This impression is due entirely to my prison studies." (X 3)
Great mix of language
Appeals to large audience/level of readers
Acknowledges himself that his vocabulary affects how he is seen.
More effective as a political activist for civil rights
X's generalization of "white man" can/should be taken offensively.
His prison-mates were a huge influence on his path towards self-education.
If in prison, I would learn more.
Full transcript