Episode #1234

American Icons: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Originally aired: September 24, 2010

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Transcript

Malcolm X Feature Card_BIG2

This is an American revolution set down on the page.

When Malcolm X was assassinated at 39, his book nearly died with him. Today The Autobiography of Malcolm X — a favorite of President Obama and Justice Clarence Thomas alike — stands as a milestone in America’s struggle with race. The Autobiography is also a Horatio Alger tale, following a man’s journey from poverty to crime to militancy to wisdom. Muslims look to Malcolm as a figure of tolerance; a tea party activist claims him for the Right; Public Enemy’s Chuck D tells us, “This book is like food. It ain’t McDonald's — it’s sit down at the table and say grace.”

 

The Autobiography of Malcolm X was produced by Derek John and Lu Olkowski and edited by David Krasnow. The actor Dion Graham read passages from the book.

 

Bonus Track: Painting an Icon
Artist Charles Lilly's painting of Malcolm X adorns the cover of the Ballantine Books edition of The Autobiography. In this bonus cut, he explains his famous work.

 

 

Bonus Track: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar remembers Malcolm X
NBA Hall of Fame member Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about hearing Malcolm X speak as a teenager in Harlem and the profound impact The Autobiography had on him in college.

 

Video: Studio 360 tours Alex Haley's writing studio

<em>The Autobiography of Malcolm X</em>, first edition hardcover
Credit: Melvin Reeves, Permission courtesy of Barney Rosset
The first-edition hardcover of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, published in 1965 by Grove Press.
'The Autobiography of Malcolm X,' first edition paperback
Credit: Kyle Pellett, Permission courtesy of Barney Rosset
The first-edition Grove Press paperback of The Autobiography of Malcolm X
<em>The Autobiography of Malcolm X</em>, Ballantine Books paperback
Courtesy of Ballantine Books
The Ballantine Books paperback edition of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. This version features a painting of Malcolm X by Charley Lilly.
Malcolm X waits at Martin Luther King press conference
Credit: Marion S. Trikosko, Courtesy of The Library of Congress
Malcolm X didn’t live long enough to see his story in print, but it has had a profound impact on the Civil Rights movement for generations.
Martin Luther King and Malcolm X waiting for press conference
Credit: Marion S. Trikosko, Courtesy of The Library of Congress
Malcolm X, like Martin Luther King, was a powerful speaker. But according to Columbia University professor Manning Marable, Malcolm X’s emphasis on self defense, pride, and African heritage, presente
Malcolm X with reporters
Credit: Herman Hiller, Courtesy of The Library of Congress
Malcolm X was an incredibly persuasive speaker. Professor Manning Marable says that he converted a white cop from New York who had only heard him through a wiretap.
Alex Haley at typewriter
Courtesy of Bill Haley
Alex Haley wrote The Autobiography of Malcolm X based on a series of interviews. Haley and Malcolm initially had very different views on the type of book they would create.
Alex Haley's Hamilton College ID
Courtesy of Bill Haley
Alex Haley’s Hamilton College ID card. Haley was a writer-in-residence at the college.
Barney Rosset with producer Derek John
Credit: Lu Olkowski
Barney Rosset, founder of Grove Press, with producer Derek John. After Malcolm X was murdered, Doubleday decided not to publish The Autobiography of Malcolm X, allowing Grove Press to secure the manu
Barney Rosset with 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X'
Credit: Lu Olkowski
Barney Rosset holds his personal first-edition paperback of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Charles Lilly with his portrait of Malcolm X
Credit: Derek John
Artist Charles Lilly stands next to his famous painting of Malcolm X. The painting is featured on the Ballantine paperback edition of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Chuck D
Credit: Henry Adebonojo
Rapper Chuck D says The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a “book that should be read every 5 years, for a black man especially.”
Chuck D with poster of Malcolm X
Credit: Derek John
Chuck D, at home with a poster of Malcolm X.
Poster of Malcolm X in Chuck D's home
Credit: Derek John
A poster of Malcolm X, displayed in the home of rapper Chuck D.
Malcolm X Shabazz High School
Credit: Derek John
The stadium outside Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, New Jersey.
Ms. Crawford's board
Credit: Derek John
Lauretta Crawford’s classroom at Malcolm X Shabazz High School.
Ms. Crawford's chalkboard
Credit: Derek John
The blackboard in Lauretta Crawford’s classroom, where students study The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Students at Shabazz High School
Credit: Derek John
Students at Malcom X Shabazz High School in Newark, New Jersey, where teacher Lauretta Crawford uses The Autobiography of Malcolm X to try to reach her class.
The autobiography on a desk
Credit: Derek John
Shabazz High School student Lamar Clark says The Autobiography of Malcolm X has shown him “nothing is impossible.”
Ms. Crawford poses by a mural at Shabazz High School
Credit: Derek John
Teacher Lauretta Crawford poses in front of a mural at Malcolm X Shabazz High School.

Guests:

Marcellus Blount, Chuck D, Gerald Early, Peter Goldman, Bill Haley, Jamal Joseph, Eddie Glaude, Jr., Manning Marable, Lenny McAllister, Barney Rosset and Ilyasah Shabazz

Produced by:

Derek John and Lu Olkowski

Editors:

David Krasnow

Comments [36]

Kerr Lockhart from Newark

Just wanted to point out that today, 2 years after this program was first aired, due to the "reforms" imposed by the State of New Jersey on its captive school district in Newark, both Shabazz High School and Lauretta Crawford are gone from Newark Public Schools. In their place, more for-profit schools run by the well-connected.

Feb. 09 2014 09:50 AM
brandon

reading the book i felt akward being a white american. But at the same time, I grew up in a middle class and upper middle class suburb of chicago before moving to a suburb of seattle as i entered middleschool. While my hometown was more racially diverse it was also less focused on race it seemed. Peopel weren't color blind but at the same time we really were not concerned very much with race. it didn't hold that much importance. I had black friends white friends, arab friends, asian friends, jewish friends etc. Everybody seemed more open to each other and willing to understansd those who were different, this was all implicit of courdse. Then i moved to seattle and experienced a complete 180 turn. There was next to no diversity, my high school here is probably about 70% white 28% asisan and maybe two percent everyone else. That wouldnt really bother me, accept that suddenly with fewer groups race seems to matter more here. Peopel use racial slurs here liek it's nothing, i would have been smacked across the face if my mother heard me say the words 'nigger" or "chink" to someone. Here they treat it liek nothing.
Whiel reading the book i've noticed more and more this one black student in my gym class. He is one of the two black students in the entire period which has three teacher's classes in the lockerroom togethor. He wears blue color contacts and when asked by his white firends he said he feels ugly when he goes"back to black" by taking them off. At the same time his friends joke by mocking his speech pattern and refering to him as "their nigger". All i could think of was malcolm 's description of peopel he new in the streets in harlem. I don't understand this. How, in 2013 , can this area (Seattle) supposedly known for its leftwing politics and tolerance be so racist?

Jan. 15 2014 02:19 AM

@ misschelove: I believe the jazz piece you're wondering about is Duke Ellington's "Fleurette Africaine." Here are the complete music cues for this episode...

"Flying Home", Lionel Hampton, Flying Home
Label:LRC Ltd.
Label URL:http://lrc-groovemerchantrecords.com/
ASIN:B00005Y9WK

"(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go," Curtis Mayfield, Curtis
Label: Rhino/Wea
Label URL:http://www.rhino.com/artist/Curtis-Mayfield
ASIN: B00004UDE9

"Bring the Noise,"Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions
Label:Def Jam
Label URL:http://www.islanddefjam.com/default.aspx?labelID=75
ASIN:B0000024K1

"No Swinging the Club in the Car," Cliff Martinez, Traffic original motion picture soundtrack
Label: Tvt
Label URL:http://www.tvtrecords.com/
ASIN:B000056JZH

"Junkie Chase (instrumental)," Curtis Mayfield,Superfly original motion picture soundtrack
Label: Rhino/ Wea
Label URL: http://www.rhino.com/artist/Curtis-Mayfield
ASIN:B00000JFV9

"Symphony No. 1 Afro-American," William Grant Still (composer),William Grant Still: Afro-American Symphony
Label: Naxos American
Label URL:http://www.naxos.com/person/William_Grant_Still/24655.htm
ASIN:B0007ORDYU

"Fleurette Africaine," Duke Ellington, Money Jungle
Label:Blue Note Records
Label URL:http://www.bluenote.com/ArtistMain.aspx?ArtistId=902675
ASIN: B0000691U1

"Fight the Power," Public Enemy, Fear of a Black Planet
Label:Def Jam
Label URL:http://www.islanddefjam.com/default.aspx?labelID=75
ASIN: B0000024IE

Terence Blanchard, music from Malcolm X original motion picture score
Label: Sony
Label URL:http://www.sonymusic.com/
ASIN:B0000028VH

Aug. 31 2011 01:54 PM
Jeanette C. Russell

Thank you very much for this insightful show.

I was in college during the "Black Power" era (1968-1972). It appeared to me that the "Autobiography of Malcolm X" was the "Bible" of the movement. Some forty years later this book is still very relevant in my life. The greatest legacy that Malcolm X gave to me personally, is the quest for knowledge, the desire to think, grow and change on the journey to being a better human being. As deeply as he believed in the Nation of Islam he still had the courage to embrace change when his knowledge increased.

I am not concerned with the accusations of embellishment in the book or if every single word is fact. The life and death of Malcolm helped me to understand the "system" that entraps both black and white people in roles that neither have necessarily chosen for themselves. Malcolm' s life represents determination, re-education, self-definition and perseverance under the most trying of circumstances. He gave his life as a sacrifice for a truth that he would not back down from. We are truly blessed to have had Malcolm for the time that he was here.

Aug. 30 2011 10:42 PM
misschelove

Any music geeks know what the jazz track at 26:08 is? I know it well, but can't for the life remember who it is - it's driving me nuts...

Aug. 30 2011 05:14 PM
Darryl Love

Growing up in the '80s, I noticed a book in the guest room of my parent's house that had the words "Malcolm X" written on the cover. I never read the book even though it sat on the bookshelf for many years. It wasn't until I was in high school that I saw the movie by Spike Lee...and then, I read the book. It was moving...a story not so much about race as it was about the social condition of man. Now that I am older, I should re-read the book in context with current events. Sometimes history has a way of repeating itself, if only we have the clairvoyance to ferret out what's going on. Great story NPR!

Aug. 28 2011 02:06 PM
Tam from Overland Park, KS to D.C.

The "Autobiography of Malcolm X" made such a positive impact on me when I attended a predominantly white high school in Kansas. I had such a hard time just existing in high school because students, administration, and my family couldn't relate to my frustration with attending school and accepting the white students and administration's nonacceptance of me. That book and others made me realize that I was a light-skinned black person because I had white blood (probable of an offspring of rape I decided because history was erased) running through my veins, that was evident by my skin color. I was teased by whites for not being white enough. And when I tried assimilation by talking like white people, I was teased by blacks for not being black enough. Autobiography of Malcolm X gave me the courage to speak out against overt racism that frequently occurred at my high school. While my parents didn't like that I couldn't "just go to school", I continued to fight until the Principal finally agreed to installing my program I founded after contacting the U.S. Department of Justice that aided in helping the administration relate to blacks and minorities. I thank GOD Malcolm X and Alex Haley displayed the courage to publish such a riveting book. More white people should read it so they can identify with what black people go through on a daily basis. I'd also like to suggest they read Barack Obama's "Dreams From My Father". Both discuss race in such a detailed manner that I believe armed with such books and education, they could help eradicate racism.

Aug. 27 2011 11:02 PM
Peggy m Fisher

Malcolm toppled lies and distortions embedded and invisible in the minds of America and the world.He returned from Mecca and walked in the valley of death unbowed, called for building bridges of understanding between all good people because Malcolm knew our survival on this planet depends on healing and building. Death knells sounded but he marched onward knowing the beauty of Truth is etched in minds eternally...

Aug. 27 2011 09:06 AM
Robert Best from Atlanta

Sorry, but the book is poorly written and obviously cobbled together by a guy that is trying to make a best seller. If it inspires or energizes, great - but the book and the author should not be confused as icons.
The Icon is Malcolm Little. As a black action hero, he has no peers, towering over the moral frailties and media grandstanding of MLK. Malcolm Little meant action. And since he was raised in a white environment, he knew better how to engage his enemy. He's an Icon because he did what most great men find impossible (such as MLK)... he continued to grow. He outgrew Malcolm X... and paid for that with his life.
One middle-aged white Republican's opinion: I'd rather have a dozen Malcolm Little Federal holidays a year rather than 1 for MLK. He was a great American - too many on the left and more on the right don't recognize that.

Jun. 10 2011 10:59 AM
Sameet from South Florida

A great piece on an incredible book and a complex man. People who try to pigeon-hole Malcolm miss the point. One of Malcolm's many messages is that we are capable of free choice, of evolution, and of growth. If people think he is a poster child of violent hatred, read the last chapter of his book. Malcolm speaks to all of us who feel or have at one time felt outside of society, be it because of our race, our religion, our skin tone, or our individual differences. Malcolm held up a mirror to "Mad Men" America, revealing all of the racism, sexism, and hatred, but also all of its potential. In 2010, we continue to be capable of more potential. Thank you.

Dec. 03 2010 09:27 PM
Patty from NYC

great show. great man. great actor, Dion Graham, giving voice to his words.

Nov. 09 2010 03:12 PM
g. martinez cabrera from San Francisco, CA

I think the thing I take away from this book is a criterion for judging greatness. If you're born being a completely noble, loving human bring, that's wonderful. But if you can go through the hatred, the injustice, and the complete cruelty that Malcolm and others have gone through and you can still keep changing and evolving, then my fiends, you are a truly great person.

Oct. 28 2010 04:13 PM
Adebayo Bello from Lagos, Nigeria.

After reading his autobiography. I tell the story to alot of my families & friends. I even read it that he once came to my country (Nigeria) in Ibadan city where they name him "Omowale" meaning, The child that returned home. Isn't that great?

Oct. 27 2010 11:15 AM
bonnie weller from Ho Ho Kus

A lot I knew. I thought the biography was all there was. Glad to find the autobiography to read. I should think it would be even more earnest as he was.

Oct. 02 2010 09:54 PM

First of all, another fantastic story from Studio 360. I have never heard a program I don't enjoy here.
The interviews from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Charles Lilly are also fantastic. Thanks for the great work and research. I have read the book three times since I was in high school and learn something new every time I read it!
As for the comment about Anderson Cooper I just don't know what that has to do with any of this, take those comments to Anderson Cooper, but Studio 360 has nothing to do with that.
As for your false facts, prove it. Cite your sources

Sep. 29 2010 10:28 AM
Kelly

Mark, you are entitled to your opinions, as misguided as they seem but as much as you say is false in the book, how much do you really know as the truth? To insinuate that the autobiography provoked violence is as ignorant as saying that oppression and racism didn't happen. Malcolm X was not the cause of violence, oppression and frustration were. How long can you mistreat and belittle a man before he reacts?! Anyway, great article/information

Sep. 27 2010 10:07 PM
Kathie from NYC

Listening to this show made me realize how much I didn't know about Malcolm X and can't believe I have never even browsed through the autobiography BUT I will now. It was refreshing to hear Kurt host a much meatier show than I've heard in recent broadcasts. I especially loved Julie Poole and her journey w/ Malcolm. Thank you for all your research and hard work on this amazing show.

Sep. 27 2010 08:49 PM
perri

"Anderson Cooper's attempt to raise Malcolm X to the stature of an American icon is extremely misguided and shameful."

Mark, why would chastise "Anderson Cooper"? And you blame Malcolm X for inciting violence?
Quit your caterwauling and free your mind.

Sep. 27 2010 03:37 PM
Mark from Philadelphia, PA

Anderson Cooper's attempt to raise Malcolm X to the stature of an American icon is extremely misguided and shameful. Most people do not realize, and Malcolm's adulators conceal, that it was Malcolm X's speeches/diatribes in Harlem which provoked the orgy of violence that has been griping America since the 1960s. His message then was basically identical with the Marxist-Leninist dictum "plunder what has been stolen [from you]" that led to the excesses of the Communist Revolution in its early years. I remember reading those speeches when I was a college student and hearing echoes of them coming through the mouth of neighborhood Black kids (my family continued to live for many years in my old neighborhood unlike Malcolm's liberal adulators who moved out almost immediately after African Americans started to move in). He made so many murderers feel morally justified about their heinous deeds. Malcolm X's personality would have made him another Mussolini, or Charles Taylo, or Idi Amin, or Mugabe, or Mobutu, given another environment.
Anderson's program is also misleading in that he fails to mention that there is a great deal in his autobiography that is inaccurate, simply false. First of all, his father died in an accident; he was not murdered by white racists. There is more of that but space constraints me from going further.
Cooper's sanitization and glorification of Malcolm X is simply mind-numbing! In my eyes Cooper has lost all credibility, since I see those who try to glorify inciters to violence as a fascist himself.

Sep. 27 2010 11:03 AM
Eriq X from Oakland Ca/ Harlem/Brooklyn/Detroit

Read the Autobiography of Malcolm X while living in Harlem on a 135th St. and Malcolm X Blvd. around the age of 23. Knowing he was from Nebraska, were I have family, moved 2 Michigan, were I grew up and had family, and ended up in Harlem and Roxbury. It open my eyes and mind. It allowed me to learn how 2 appreciate being black and really know what our worth is to the World. Thank U Malcolm and Alex Haley.

Sep. 27 2010 05:56 AM
paul cooper from ELIZABETH NJ.07208

I READ MAALCOM BOOKS WAS A GREAT SUPPORTER OF HIM FOR YEARS. I FIRST MET HIM IN 1957 IN NEWARK NJ,WHEN HE WAS SPEAKING THERE I WAS A TEENAGER AT THAT .TIME I WAS IN THE MILITARY IN GERMANY 1965 MY MOTHER SENT ME A LETTER , I HAD TEARS IN MYEYES WHEN I READ THE LETTER. HE IS STILL ONE MY GREAT LEADERS AS ALWAYS TODAY.

Sep. 26 2010 08:53 PM
Claire Czuhan

Eye opening. I have to admit, although I’ve heard of Malcolm X, I've never read the book. Seems like everyone who’s read it has had a powerful experience. I just ordered it on Amazon. I loved all the personal stories, especially enjoyed interviews with Malcolm X's daughter and that guy with the secret. As a white woman who grew-up in an almost all white town, I totally related to that college student. What she says is sad but true.

Sep. 26 2010 02:42 PM
Claire Czuhan

Eye opening. I have to admit, although I’ve heard of Malcolm X, I've never read the book. Seems like everyone who’s read it has had a powerful experience. I just ordered it on Amazon. I loved all the personal stories, especially enjoyed interviews with Malcolm X's daughter and that guy with the secret. As a white woman who grew-up in an almost all white town, I totally related to that college student. What she says is sad but true.

Sep. 26 2010 02:41 PM
Mizan Nunes from West Village

In the mid Twentieth Century I began living in N.Y. My stepfather was from Lexington, Mississippi. He would take me to Harlem and let me sit on his shoulder so I could see beyond all the adults standing before a speaker. The speaker was Malcolm X. Years later Dr.John D. Foner taught a course in Black Political History at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. It was another turning point for me. Decades later Malcolm X would be on a U.S. postal stamp. Like most icons Malcolm X will always be in our own images. Mizan Nunes

Sep. 26 2010 01:26 PM
Joat

In my late 20's, I came to the US for my postgraduate studies in late 1970's.
I got to know about Malcolm X in an English course designed and selected for new non-English speaking students, in which in a chapter, he was compared with Martin L. King. Knowing nothing about either of these men at that time I was fascinated by Malcolm X's views and character. While at U of M as a graduate student, I found some of his lectures by chance at a linguistic PhD student friend's apartment. I read some of the lectures. To make my story short, in early 1980's while in severe pain for months from movements and passing of my kidney stones, by reading his autobiography I was able to forget all about my pain!, and eventually passed the large size stones without any surgery! I am a scientist who was borne in a poor family in a ghetto of a ghetto city in Iran. While I do not believe in any form of religion, his life journey and story gives me the feeling that he has been above and better than any saint, profit or hero that has existed on this earth.

Sep. 26 2010 12:40 PM
Ralph from Staten Island

I read this book just after I graduated High School, after his death. It was one of the most important books I've ever read. I read it again after I returned from Viet Nam and shared it with some of the white soldiers in my barracks and even they were impressed as we discussed the book among ourselves. One thing I gleaned from the work is that most American white people feel that their race's influence upon the world is positive and that they are the salt of the earth. When history is read from the point of view of the people that were sacrificed i.e. Indians, Africans, African Americans, Asians, Aboriginal people of Australia, etc., one can see the viciousness, cruelty, sadism and self righteousness, that helped bring about "civilization". It was quite easy to assume that the white man was the devil. Case in point: on 9/11, 3,000 Americans died in the towers. And what did we do? Attacked a country that did us no harm, over 100,000 Iraqi dead and millions displaced and this in an urbane and modern Islamic country. Have we gotten enough revenge yet or is our thirst for "justice" going to bleed us of our resources and our children? I won't even talk about Afghanistan or even Palestine. The book is relevant even today.

Sep. 26 2010 12:12 PM
Annie McGill from Pennsylvania

I, of course, read the Autobiography of Malcolm X while in college but I didn't really understand it's importance until many years later. Listening to your program, I'm reminded to take it down from my bookcase and take still another look at it. I agree with Chuck D, this is a book that should be re-read on a regular basis. I think 9/11 should have made this book mandatory reading in every school in this country.

Sep. 26 2010 10:14 AM
Wynne

What a fantastic show! I am so grateful to have heard it. My mother who never was a big reader gave this book to me to read when I was in high school....so I read it because I figured it had to be good and boy was it ever. This book changed my whole life and propelled me to read several other books about Malcolm X afterwards. Now I am a high school math teacher and have bought copies and given this book to many of my students to read, especially those who are perpetually in trouble and generally doing poorly in school in the hope that it might motivate them to take a different path. THANK YOU again for this broadcast!

Sep. 26 2010 07:58 AM
Frantz Kenol from MARYLAND

I read this book in college. One of the most important and influential books in my life. A must read for anyone and everyone. There are so many lessons and truths and things that we simply aren't aware of in the book. A true eye opener. Thank you for your program

Sep. 25 2010 10:04 PM
Greg from Michigan from Michigan

Read when I was about 40. One of the most important books I've read. Should be on everyone's Must Read list. He had the courage to follow his personal journey wherever it took him. A book full of surprises. I need to read it again. Thanks for the show.

Sep. 25 2010 01:04 PM
Pat from Quakertown,PA

Thank you for this show! This is one of my favorite books and I would encourage everyone to read it. As a white child, growing up in the south during the 50's and 60's who witnessed so much injustice, I view Malcolm X as a great human being and an American hero. He spoke the ugly truth about racisim in our country with a confrontational and direct voice. A man of great courage, intellect and love. His experience in Mecca was expressed beautifully as he evolved in his understanding of true Islam. When his life was cut short, we were denied the wisdom he would have shared.

Sep. 25 2010 09:33 AM
Louise Caskie from Doylestown Pa

I read this book as a teenager in the 70's in Jamaica- a Rastafarian involved with repatriation-I was totally enthralled by his journey and metamorphosis. You know how the story is going to end; but before I finished the book, I had a dream that Malcolm and I were in a barn, lying down together in a haystack. "Don't go! Please don't go! The people need you!" "I don't want to go either," he replied. We were both crying. I've never forgotten that dream. It was in colour and it was just so sad. It seemed to me that in America they always kill the good people, the ones that come to help. He was braver than 10,000 and faithful to the end and a true hero, my hero, always.

Sep. 25 2010 08:34 AM
CCarolyn Tyson from Medford, New Jersey

I can't thank you enough for this airing. Thank God I awoke to it!!! It nearly brought me to tears several time while listenting as I recalled reading this enlightening book nearly 25 years ago. Now at age 56 it reminded me that I MUST pull it off the shelf where I keep it visablily displayed and do a 2nd read.

In today's world I'd really like to gift this audio and a copy of the book to several young African-American men who are having life struggles. Do you sell audios of this particular radiocast?

Sep. 25 2010 08:33 AM
Ricomo from Philly

Thank you so much for this piece. It not only adds to my appreciation for the book and the man, it also puts me back in touch with the feelings I had when I read the book. I love the book - and I guess, therefore, the man - for so many reasons: his various messages, his pushing, the strength of his convictions, his courage to speak up, his confident demeanor, his ability to change, to be open to change, to keep learning.

Sep. 25 2010 08:24 AM
perri from Brooklyn

Truly enjoyed the podcast.

I clearly remember the period when black kids were wearing "X" gear and African medallions. I wanted to know a little about the man behind the inspiration so I read the autobiography. It's one of my favorite books ever! I saw the book as a journey of personal evolution. When I finished reading it I couldn't help but wonder how much greater his influence would have been had he lived.

I enjoyed the guest commentaries (I immediately recognized the names of the three academicians), and thought William Grant Still's "Symphony No. 1 (Afro-American)" added a really nice touch.

A+

Sep. 25 2010 12:22 AM
Janice L. Greene

Fantastic read. One of the most important books I've read. Having read it in high school, it helped shape my young adulthood and my view of Muslims as a tolerant religion -- that is, until 9/11.

Sep. 24 2010 12:10 PM

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