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Essay on The Autobiography of Malcolm X

            One night, when Louise Little is pregnant with Malcolm, armed Ku Klux Klansmen circle the home of Earl Little and his family. The Klansmen order Earl to come out, but he is away, preaching. Malcolm's mother tells them so, and the Klansmen leave without violence; but the encounter scares the family into leaving Omaha. They move first to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and then to Lansing, Michigan, where Malcolm grows up. The first chapter provides basic information about the Little family. Malcolm's mother was born in Grenada, in the British West Indies, and is twenty-eight when Malcolm is born on May 19, 1925. She already has three children by Malcolm's father: Wilfred, Hilda, and Philbert. In Michigan, Louise and Earl will have four more children "Reginald, Yvonne, Wesley, and Robert "making Malcolm the fourth of eight children. Malcolm's mother is light-skinned, the daughter of a white man she has never met. She is capable of passing as white. Louise Little can read and has strong religious beliefs, particularly about diet. She is stricter with Malcolm than she is with her other children. Malcolm's father, Earl Little, is more lenient with him. Malcolm's father has three children from a previous marriage who live in Boston. Their names are Ella, Earl, and Mary. Malcolm's father was born in Reynolds Georgia, is over six feet tall, and is much darker than his wife. He is committed to spreading the ideas of Marcus Garvey, which is what attracted the interest of the Omaha Ku Klux Klan. In Michigan, Earl Little finds an audience for his preaching and his propagation of Garvey's ideas. As in Omaha, Malcolm's father draws the attention of local whites, who revile him, burn down his house, and, finally, murder him when Malcolm is six. The crime is never investigated, and the insurance company calls it suicide and refuses to deliver on its policy. With the death of Malcolm's father and the onset of the Great Depression, conditions worsen for the family.

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