Oppression In Malcolm X

Words: 740
Pages: 3

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley is a powerful book that exposes the reader to the atrocities of racism committed in twentieth century America. One central idea that this novel revolves around is systemic oppression, which serves as a contribution to the readers’ understanding of the extent to which prejudice stretched during this time period. Three key events that relate back to this main idea are Mr. Ostrowski’s career suggestions, Malcolm’s hustling job, and the time Malcolm spends in jail. One of the first main events in the book that develops the central idea of systemic oppression is the time when Malcolm’s primary school teacher, Mr. Ostrowski, puts down Malcolm’s dream of becoming a lawyer just because of his race. When …show more content…
The main reason he is eventually caught is due to all the legal attention he is drawing to himself from his hustling job, which keep private detectives and policemen on his trail. However, the fact of the matter is, Malcolm was driven into his illegal job in the first place because of the racist structure of America’s social class system. This occurrence gives a very vivid illustration of systemic oppression, since Malcolm’s fate was essentially inevitable. The way that the class system is set up in his time essentially forces him to rely on illegal methods to make a living, which in turn leads to his eventual arrest. In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the central idea of systemic oppression is developed and built upon by three main events: Mr. Ostrowski’s comments on Malcolm’s dreams, the time Malcolm obtains a hustler job, and Malcolm’s eventual arrest. Although Malcolm manages to turn his life around after these events, others weren’t so lucky. This novel uses the concept of systemic oppression to clearly illustrate the division between white and black America during the twentieth century, and the way that it surfaced within the life of Malcolm X as he struggled to find his place in the