Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

Blanche’s Book Club: ‘Malcolm X’.

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Coming at you from a very snowy and cold — it’s currently 9 degrees — in Austin, TX! From the looks of the news, there’s a good chance you’re reading this from a chilly place, too, wherever you are.

When I woke up this morning, I saw some text messages from the energy company saying they were completing rolling outages across the area because of limited power… because the wind turbines are frozen! What?!?

I feel really lucky that I haven’t lost power this entire few days (knock on wood), but I have been charging all of my gadgets and energy banks… and am currently trying to conserve energy, as suggested by the energy company. So, I’m sitting here with no lights on, no heat (I’m using a small space heater), and all my curtains closed, ha!

Anyway, the hot coffee and my electric blanket are the real heroes today. But yesterday, I pretty much laid in bed and read a majority of the book I want to share today: “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” by Manning Marable.

Over the summer, I made a long list of antiracist books to read and once I started tackling it, I realized there’s so much more I had to learn. Malcolm X was someone mentioned in several of the books I read, but yet I really didn’t know anything about him. So, I went searching for a book that would really give me EVERYTHING I needed to know about him.

There are tons of books out there about Malcolm X, including his very popular autobiography. But I picked this one because Manning Marable was very established and has published many works on key players in the Civil Rights movement. And, this book won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 2012.

Not only is this book incredibly well-written, but it’s also an in-depth piece of research. Marable points out in the book’s introduction that there were many parts of Malcolm’s life omitted from his autobiography for several reasons, and the research explains all of it, and points out areas along the way that were not included in his autobiography.

The book starts before Malcolm is born, so you get a feel for the life of his parents. Then, of course, it follows Malcolm’s life — which had many drastic changes over the years. It explains in detail his introduction to Islam and how he became a leader in the faith, after spending time in prison.

There’s a minute-by-minute account of his assassination and its aftermath, and even discusses the lives of his family members after his death. A short comparison of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is what really made this book click for me — though there were paragraphs throughout the text that made my jaw drop.

A truly fascinating read! I would recommend this to anyone working to educate themselves on Civil Rights, Black culture and white privilege.

I’ve picked out several other books by Black authors to read this month, which is why I wanted to finish this one!

I hope you all are staying warm and hopefully have the day off for one reason or another 🙂

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. I also have bookish downloads in my Etsy Shop, The Bitter Lemon Digital.

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