Elements of Literature Fourth Course
LE0 10-5.1
Hair from The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X with Alex Haley
More About the Writers
A Man of Transformations
When you’ve gone from shining shoes to the shining lights of international fame as a civil rights leader, you learn that transformations are indeed possible. Visit the official site of Malcolm X and learn more about the man who was neither afraid to change his mind nor the world around him.
Roots that Run to Africa
Alex Haley grew up hearing stories about his family’s African history. When he grew older he found the source of these stories—seven generations before him in a small village in West Africa. Retrace Haley’s steps and find out how he researched and wrote a world-renowned novel about his own roots.
More from the Writer
Tossing Aside Previous Conclusions
Malcolm X had very strong opinions about race relations, but a pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam’s holy city, changed some of his views. Read a letter Malcolm wrote from Mecca, listen to a few of his quotes, or watch a video in which Malcolm explains the difference between human rights and civil rights. Do you think Malcolm X’s words influenced others to discard their previous conclusions about race?
Choices: Building Your Portfolio, page 351
Choices 2: Creative Giants
If you are researching the life of an African American artist from the 1940s, begin your journey with a visit to Ithaca College. Mingle with jazz composer Duke Ellington, try some dance steps with Katherine Dunham, or stretch a canvas with Jacob Lawrence. Good luck choosing just one artist whose life and work you’d like to present to your class.
Crossing the Curriculum: History
Beauty Salon Madness
Examples of widespread racism are always sad, and often they’re downright strange. One very odd example of racism in 1930s America can be found in some advertisements for beauty products. These ads tried to convince people that what they really needed most was to “lighten” their skin. Visit AFRO-Americ@’s Black History Museum and see how advertising can provide you with a unique historical record.
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