"Without education, you're not going anywhere in this world," were Malcolm X's famous words, yet so little is known of how much he valued his personal education. Malcolm X is undoubtedly one of the main characters that fought for the civil rights movement of the 1960's and without him, African American rights would have never existed. It has been more than thirty-five years since his assassination in 1965, yet we continue to be ignorant of his "Homemade Education," which he acquired from his eight years of studying while in prison. Malcolm X revealed there is great power in reading, - it is an energy that has authority. It took Malcolm X eight years to fully obtain this power called "reading" and with it came other dominant abilities such as writing and understanding of texts, that all allowed his new world to be opened. .
Malcolm X realized that his inability to write hinders him expressing his thoughts to others, and seeks to correct this hindrance. He seeks to communicate his opinions to his religious inspiration, Elijah Muhammad but is unable to do so. His letters are one of the reasons he seeks to acquire his homemade education. He says: .
It was because of my letters that I happened to stumble upon starting to acquire some kind of homemade education. I became increasingly frustrated at not being able to express what I wanted to convey in letters that I wrote, especially those to Mr. Elijah Muhammad. In the street, I had been the most articulate hustler out there - I had commanded attention when I said something. But now, trying to write simple English, I not only wasn't articulate, I wasn't even functional. How would I sound writing in slang, the way I would say it, something such as "Look, Daddy, let me pull your coat about a cat, Elijah Muhammad --." (134).
Malcolm illustrates the importance of knowing to how to write by telling the reader .