92 pages 3 hours read

Malcolm X, Alex Haley

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 1965

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Chapter 19-Epilogue

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 19 Summary: “1965”

Malcolm knows the futility of his efforts to convince Black Americans to view their hardship as an international human rights problem worthy of the United Nations. He writes, “The American white man has so thoroughly brainwashed the black man to see himself as only a domestic ‘civil rights’ problem” (419). Moreover, Malcolm admits that Christianity is too entrenched in Black communities for millions of Black men and women to follow him into Islam.

In 1965, Malcolm continues to be blamed for what is widely described as 1964’s “long, hot summer” (421) of racial unrest. His response to these accusations is logical: Given the disproportionate unemployment rates, education quality, and housing access afflicting Black communities, “[i]t takes no one to stir up the sociological dynamite” (421). Malcolm denies being a proponent of violence, calling himself instead a proponent of justice. Still, he argues that if laws fail to ensure justice for Black Americans, then they must use arms to protect and defend themselves: If the philosophy of nonviolence requires individuals to accept brutality without defending themselves, then it is a criminal philosophy. Malcolm still dismisses integration as a “desegregated cup of coffee” (426) in recompense for centuries of violence and oppression. Finally, he acknowledges that while White Americans are not inherently racist, White American society is.