James Baldwin and the Education of People of Color

Writing, like any art or discipline, takes daily practice and dedication to learning about the craft from those who have come before you. In learning, I like to teach, so each week I will take a piece of advice from the greats, both living and dead, famous and not, and apply their lessons to my own work and share my thoughts and progress with you.

This week’s quote is from the essayist, poet, novelist, playwright, and social critic, James Baldwin.

“Not a thousand years ago, it was illegal to teach a slave to read.”

— James Baldwin

The first laws prohibiting slaves from being educated were passed in South Carolina in 1740 beyond what was necessary to understand scripture. Other states followed quickly adding fines for anyone caught teaching a slave to read or write and even going so far as to prohibit freed slaves from living in some states in fear they might incite others by educating them and distributing abolitionist materials or ideas. By the 1850s public education for all black people was illegal.

Educated slaves were a threat to white slaveholders. To have slaves reading and reflecting, questioning authority, and getting ideas of rising and rebelling was not to be tolerated.

This discouragement did not end after the emancipation proclamation was signed. There were few schools or teachers available to teach black people, and they were not permitted in white school. What schools were established were poor and largely ignored by the government. It would be almost another 100 years between the signing of the end of the civil war in 1865 and the legal desegregation of schools in 1954. One hundred years of freed slaves and their descendants scraping by the best they could in a world where white people had the advantage.

And not much has changed since. A significant percentage of Black people in this country are illiterate or unable read above a basic level. They say we are all equal now. Legally we all have a right to an education and the same opportunities regardless of race, but anyone with eyes can see it isn’t true.

School in predominately black or poor neighborhoods doesn’t receive the funding needed to educate its student body enough to compete with the richer and often whiter schools.  It is their schools that have less money, fewer teachers, bigger class sizes, and lower graduation rates. Even in the school district, I work for, one of the best in the state and arguably in the country, there is a clear difference between the education and resources received between our predominantly white schools and the ones with a more diverse enrollment.

The same discouragement to educate exists now, black schools are still poor and largely ignored by the government and for much the same reason, to keep the power where the ruling class wants it.

Education carries ideas, ideas about who we are and what life is and should be. Education exposes you to ideas about what happiness is and what suffering is and how we end up with either. Education brings wisdom from the past to the present and cultivates the capacity to imagine a better future for oneself. It puts you into perspectives you might never see from. It makes us want.

Writing means utilizing logic and creativity for more than basic comprehension ideas. It means pulling those perspectives and ideas you encountered apart and recombining them into something new. The power of writing is in its ability to teach you how to think and reveal what you think. Writing makes it possible to share these new ideas and possibilities with others.

Writing gives you an independence that threatens the establishment. Writing lights your soul up, and gives you the power to light another’s, and another’s, and another’s. It gives you a freedom you don’t have to beg for, a freedom you take for yourself. Once writing has happened control is lost. You cannot keep the masses from reading it, and you cannot stop them from spreading it. The end of oppression becomes inevitable.

It can be slowed. A ruling class loathes to give up power, so they find new ways to restrict education. We’ve banned books and burned whole libraries, but the human appetite for knowledge is insatiable and compulsive. It comes naturally to us and is essential for success in our society.

Too many Americans never learn to read or are not taught the joy and power that words and ideas can give them. It’s a damn shame. A shame not only on those in power but on all of us who turn a blind eye.

Someone somewhere at some time thought that too, and it is because of them I can call myself a writer now.  It is because so many people who came before wanted that I have access to so much information and education, often for free and at my leisure. It is because of them that I can contemplate and reflect, forming ideas of my own and share them with you. As a woman and a person of color, I know how lucky I am to have this power. I feel like I owe it to them to wield this power, to practice it and share it. I can’t give in to self-loathing and doubt. I can’t quit or make excuses because that would be a dishonor and a disappointment to their legacy and sacrifice.

Every person who fought to get us here, no matter how small their resistance, performed great acts of courage. Those who still fight are true heroes. I want to be among those heroes.

The conclusion we all have to come to is that literacy is a human right, period! No person sound denied access to a fundamental feature of what it means to be a human being. No other species on this planet has discovered math, reading, or writing; it is our discovery, it belongs to all of us, equally.

We all have access to school, but we don’t have access to the same education. What we have is a deliberate attempt to keep certain groups ignorant and unable to think or think properly, or articulate their needs and imagine solutions to their ills. I say “deliberate” because the news that some schools are failing, are poor, and are overcrowded and understaffed is not news to anyone and yet is still not a problem politicians are willing to fix.

Who better to take up the fight than writers? As a writer, it hurts my heart to know that language is being used as a weapon this way. As a writer yourself, or as an artist or any creative type, you should feel the same. What would life feel like to you if you had been denied the tools to express your hopes, and fears, and dreams? What could a stunted mind imagine or believe in? How might you suffer if you had been kept from words this way?

No one should be denied to opportunity to fall in love with writing. Call you representatives, contribute to local school fundraising efforts, even if your children do not attend. Familiarize yourself with the basic literacy statistics and the reality of black students in public education. Read authors of color, especially women and queer authors of color. Raise awareness. Confront your own racist ideas, even the ones you deny you have.

And finally, make access to the very best education for everyone a moral issue. Make reading, writing and math, a human rights issue. Make it your goal to bring up other artists and writers the way you were brought up, or the way you wish you had been. Make sure they can read the classics, learn the rules, and know that expressing the human condition through fiction, poetry, essays, memoir, and more are noble and fulfilling endeavors. Let them know we need them, their ideas, and their words.

We need more minds lit up and souls burning in all of us.

***

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James Arthur Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924, after his mother, Emma Berdis Jones, left his biological father because of his drug abuse and moved to Harlem, New York City. There, she married a preacher, David Baldwin. The family was very poor. His mother reportedly never told him the name of his biological father.

The oldest of nine children Baldwin spent much of his time caring for his younger brothers and sisters. At the age of 10, he was teased and abused by two New York police officers, an instance of racist harassment by the NYPD that he would experience again as a teenager and document in his essays. His adoptive father, whom Baldwin in essays called simply his father, appears to have treated him—by comparison with his siblings—with great harshness.

Baldwin developed a passion for reading at an early age and demonstrated a gift for writing during his school years. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he worked on the school’s magazine with future famous photographer Richard Avedon. He published numerous poems, short stories, and plays in the magazine. At age 14, Baldwin became a preacher at the small Fireside Pentecostal Church in Harlem. In the early 1940s, he transferred his faith from religion to literature. Critics, however, note the impassioned cadences of Black churches are still evident in his writing.

Baldwin’s first and probably best-known novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, a partially autobiographical account of his youth, was published in 1953.  He continued to experiment with literary forms throughout his career, publishing poetry and plays as well as the fiction and essays for which he was known. He garnered acclaim for his insights on race, spirituality, and humanity. His essay collections Notes of a Native SonNobody Knows My Name, and The Fire Next Time were influential in informing a largely white audience. Other novels included Giovanni’s Room, Another Country, and Just Above My Head.

James Baldwin offered a vital literary voice during the era of civil rights activism in the 1950s and ’60s. Baldwin’s novels and plays fictionalized fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures thwarting the equitable integration of not only blacks, but also of gay and bisexual men, while depicting some internalized obstacles to such individuals’ quests for acceptance. Such dynamics are prominent in Baldwin’s second novel, Giovanni’s Room, written in 1956 well before gay rights were widely espoused in America. His inclusion of gay themes resulted in a lot of savage criticism from the Black community.

On November 30, 1987, Baldwin died from stomach cancer in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France. He was buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, near New York City.

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Also: James Baldwin on What Artists Know

Biographical information via Wikipedia, Biography, and Goodreads

Featured image by John H. White, 1945-, Photographer (NARA record: 4002141) (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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To Live in Righteous Anger

Hello, dear readers and happy Monday! I know, I know, Mondays aren’t happy. Mondays are for feeling tired, and grouchy, and remembering all the things you don’t like about your life. Mondays are for wanting to crawl back into bed.

But, let’s try something different. Let’s think of Mondays as a chance at a fresh start, every single week. Mondays are do-overs, each one is our own personal reset button. Let’s take this opportunity to do it differently. Let’s make the changes we want to see in ourselves and the world, okay?

For me, this Monday is one of reflection and courage. I am thinking of the great Martin Luther King Jr., and I am facing some big fears and anxieties this morning in a doctor’s office. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to see a doctor. They frighten me, but I’m not sure why. It’s as if somehow seeing the doctor will be what leads to my death. It’s stupid and irrational, but that doesn’t mean my mind can let it go. Wish me luck in my morning of panic attacks.

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

— Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was thinking about forgiveness the other day, a virtue I have struggled with my whole life. I thought about how I had hardened myself against forgiveness, lumping it in with all the other parts of religion that aim to keep us weak, passive, and easily manipulated. Forgiveness erases the past and makes us easily controlled in the future. It makes your pain pointless and gives the abuser, oppressor, and manipulator the impression that they have no dues to pay or apologies to make. I do not forgive, not deep down, even if I act like I do.

Many people have told me, both face to face, through sermons, and through motivational quotes, that forgiveness was good for the soul. That forgiveness was for you and not them. That forgiveness was the ultimate test and proof of strength. Bullshit, I thought.

But the other day, out of nowhere I got it. Forgiveness isn’t saying it’s okay. It isn’t saying that the people who hurt you aren’t to blame. It doesn’t mean I have to like them, love them, or give them another chance. It doesn’t mean that my anger isn’t real or warranted. It means that I don’t have to live in that anger anymore.

I don’t have to spit cruel words, or go out of my way to make my anger felt by them, or myself. It doesn’t have to be a part of every day of my life. I don’t have to throw it out, I just have to put it in storage, and I only have to take it out when I want to, when it’s useful to me.

This felt like a real breakthrough. Like, there were parts of my psyche I never realized were so tightened up with anger and finally, a mental muscle that had been working, working, working, got to take a break.

Hatred is the same I suppose. I hope.

I don’t hate often but when I do it is a deep and mean kind of hate, all consuming. I have hated bosses, I’ve hated family members, I’ve hated celebrities, and, more recently, I’ve come to hate a whole slew of politicians, pundits, and swaths of citizens, voters, and non-voters. I feel it like a dark whole in my chest, painful, inflamed, and crippling.

My hatred lives on a nation level, and I blame one man for it all, Donald Trump.

Hatred is a strong word, a strong emotion, to center on one man, I know, but he has become the leader, the figurehead, of a movement of destruction. He has given power to those who people like Martin Luther King Jr. fought so hard to against. He has taken us back to a time and a moral standard that is devoid of compassion and empathy. He has made the worst parts of humanity into virtues and left those who needed protection out in the cold, to be ridiculed and hated again.

This week that man will become President of the United States of America and I keep asking myself: What would Martin Luther King have to say about the state of our country today?

I think he would be livid. He would be disappointed. He would never stand for this, and he would surely be reminding us of how far we have fallen from his dream.

He would be angry but would he feel hatred the way I do? I believe he wouldn’t and if I could meet him and speak with him he would tell me not to live in my hatred. HE would tell me to hold on to my anger but to make it a righteous and useful anger, not an anger rooted in meanness and revenge. I do not wish evil on those unwilling to do what is right, simply because they are afraid of inclusion and equality, but I am angry, and I will fight them.

I am learning to forgive by not living in anger. I am learning not to hate by fighting back with everything the opposition lacks. I want to fight with love. I want to fight for everyone.

All the great leaders I’ve studied did two things: They told the truth. They didn’t bother with insults or exaggerations. They didn’t bother with comeback or promises of punishment or revenge. They didn’t build themselves up at another expense. They only told the truth, and if the truth made you look bad, it was your own fault.

The second thing the did was push, pull, and drag everyone to the problem and the solution. Our true leaders didn’t just preach to the choir, the spoke to the very people who need to hear the truth. They spoke to the people who were part of the problem, not by action but by inaction too. They made it clear who was responsible and how the responsible could make a change. They laid the crime on the criminals and taught the victims how to stand up, be strong, and fight back.

So, I guess that is the kind of person I want to be. Not a pacifist, as Dr. King is often betrayed, but a righteous warrior. Someone who fights back in a way that my conscience can live with. Anger is ok, but living in it, never feeling compassion for the enemy is not the right way. Use your anger to never let them forget or make excuses. Use your anger to make them do better, not to make them fear you. Use your anger to uplift your community, not use them to make you feel important and god-like.

I will work on not hating the people who want to hold us all back, watch others suffer, and even kill for the pleasure of a win.

I will try not to hate people who are taking away healthcare from the people who need it most. I will try not to hate people who wish to take rights and dignity from people who have already lived in shame and fear. I will try not to hate people who want to keep people from America who need our protection the most. I will try not to hate people who want more prisons, more guns, more bombs.

I will try every day not to hate them, but I will never stop talking about their crime.

I will never let them forget.

I think Dr. King would approve.

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Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

Remembering the Real Martin Luther King

​Unfortunately, Dr. King’s legacy has been clouded by efforts to soften, sanitize, and commercialize it. Impulses to remove Dr. King from the complex and radical movement that elevated him must end. We resist efforts to reduce a long history marred with the blood of countless people into iconic images of men in suits behind pulpits.

// ReclaimMLK.com

There was a time when I believed what I was taught in school about Martin Luther King. I believed that he was a man who encouraged only peaceful means of protest. I believed he would blame black people for their own oppression. I believed he would say that racism was only a problem because we all kept talking about it. I believed that because that’s what I was told about the man as a child, but I am learning that a lot was left out of black history in school. I am learning that it was all either white-washed or pure lies.

It didn’t occur to me at the time that we never discussed any other civil rights leaders, and it did not occur to me that we only discussed one of Dr. Kings speeches. It never occurred to me that the teachers implied that “The Dream” had already been achieved and that any further anger or dwelling on past wrongs (which were also not discussed beyond “there was slavery but then there wasn’t and it’s been happily ever after ever since”) was to disappoint the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and we must always strive to make his dream of peace and color-blindness a reality.

As a teenager, I noticed the difference in tone when discussing Dr. King vs. discussing other civil rights activists, like Malcolm X. I was drawn to learn more about the ones that white people didn’t like and didn’t give a holiday to. I bought into what I was taught and chose not to hold Dr. King up as a hero because in my mind he had been a pawn of white supremacy.

I realize now I was wrong. I learned that after his death his message had been remade and repackaged as a means to hush and patronize black people. I saw it in school and I saw again on social media, first when Trayvon Martin was killed, then again when Mike Brown was killed. I have seen it time and time again from reporters, politicians, bloggers, and racists, to guilt POC into turning a blind eye to injustices that continue to exist just below the surface of public awareness.

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

// Martin Luther King, Jr.

When the Ferguson protests happened it seemed that white people were only mad about black people protesting (and possibly rioting) but no about the issues that sparked the protests in the first place. What was painfully obvious was that if it were white people perceiving an injustice (real or not) there would be no action that was too much or too far. Isn’t America all about Give Me Freedom or Give Me Death?

Yeah, they are if you are white. If you aren’t you should remember that Dr. Martin Luther King would not have stood for this. Dr. King would not say “Black Lives Matter”, he would say “All Lives Matter”. The man is probably spinning in his grave as we speak because you people are rioting and hating whites when you ought to be holding hands and singing Kum-ba-ya. You ought to be moving on from the past. You ought to be forgetting racism was ever a thing and thinking about how you can change things by being a better person and pulling up your pants. Remember Dr. King’s Dream.

“You deplore the demonstrations that are presently taking place in Birmingham. But I am sorry that your statement did not express a similar concern for the conditions that brought the demonstrations into being…I would not hesitate to say that it is unfortunate that so-called demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham at this time, but I would say in more emphatic terms that it is even more unfortunate that the white power structure of this city left the Negro community with no other alternative.

// Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr.

No, I think Dr. King would be celebrating what happened in Ferguson. He would praise all the efforts since then as well. He would praise the men and women standing up now and fighting, however they can, for a better world. A world where police aim to bring people to justice rather than enforce their own brand of justice themselves. A world where black people feel beautiful and capable. A world where our history has not been forgotten or altered. A world where every black child grows up knowing where he came from and why they must keep fighting every day.

I do think Dr. King would have a few issues with how things are turning out. He would be appalled at the number of deaths of young black people at the hands of law enforcement. I think he would be appalled at the number of black people still living in poverty. I think he would be appalled at how little the attitudes and attentions of white people have changed.

I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice.

// Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr.

I think it’s time for a change in the way we talk about Martin Luther King. Go out and try to learn something new about this man today. Read his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, read his letter Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam, read his interview with Alex Haley, listen to a few of his other speeches, and check out the hashtag #ReclaimMLK. Start there and you will see the man you thought Dr. King was was a fabrication and a tool used to keep us all blind.

He was not a man who only cared for nonviolent protest. He was not a man who valued order over justice. He was not a man who wanted black people to move on and forget the past. Hell, he gave more than one damn speech. He fought against economic injustice. He believed in reproductive rights. He risked his life every day to say we have to speak up and we have to fight. He was hated by the same kinds of people who twist his legacy today. Don’t forget, he was no national hero in his time.

That is the man I choose to celebrate today. The man named “the most dangerous negro” and an enemy of the state. The man that was killed for speaking up. The man who would not allow America to quietly forget her sins.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday // W.E.B. Du Bois

Hello dear readers and fellow writers and welcome to Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading. Each week bloggers share their favorite quotes to motivate and inspire one another to keep writing and working toward our goals. My contribution this week is from the  American author, historian, and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois.

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W.E.B. Du Bois circa 1911

William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois (pronounced doo-BOYZ) was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on February 23, 1868. He grew up in a fairly tolerant and integrated community. He identified himself as “mulatto,” but freely attended school with whites and was enthusiastically supported in his academic studies by his white teachers. In 1885, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend Fisk University. It was there that he first encountered Jim Crow laws. For the first time, he began analyzing the deep troubles of American racism.

He attended Fisk College in Nashville, then earned his BA in 1890 and his MS in 1891 from Harvard. Du Bois studied at the University of Berlin, then earned his doctorate in history from Harvard in 1894. He taught economics and history at Atlanta University from 1897-1910.

Du Bois adamantly opposed the idea of biological white superiority and vocally supported women’s rights. In 1909, he co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and served as editor of its monthly magazine, The Crisis. 

Du Bois rejected any compromise in his quest for equal rights and political representation for Black people, he wanted nothing less than all America had to offer and believed that the Black intellectual elites he named the Talented Tenth would be crucial in obtaining those rights. He refused to play by the rules White Americans imposed on the Blacks. He would not fall into that trap and instead encouraged a new way where Black people stopped caring what white people thought and start playing their own game.

Du Bois would go on to become a prolific author. His collection of essays,  The Souls of Black Folk, published in 1903, is a collection of 14 essays, in which he urged black Americans to stand up for their educational and economic rights, was a classic work in African-American literature. His  1935 magnum opus Black Reconstruction in America challenged the prevailing orthodoxy that blacks were responsible for the failures of the Reconstruction Era. He wrote the first scientific treatise in the field of sociology; and he published three autobiographies, each of which contains insightful essays on sociology, politics, and history.

He died on August 27, 1963, in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. He was 95 years old.

Thus all Art is propaganda and ever must be, despite the wailing of the purists. I stand in utter shamelessness and say that whatever art I have for writing has been used always for propaganda for gaining the right of black folk to love and enjoy. I do not care a damn for any art that is not used for propaganda. But I do care when propaganda is confined to one side while the other is stripped and silent.

– W.E.B. Du Bois, Criteria of Negro Art

In this quote, Du Bois is speaking about his belief that art should mean something and not just be purely for art’s sake. He hated that White people had been misrepresenting Black people in an unflattering and cruel way, and represented their own race as always good and beautiful. He also hated that black artists  worked so hard not to offend White people in their own art. He believed Black people should no longer critique their arts by white standards and instead create art that counters the current prejudice and tells the story of racism and suffering in America.

Propaganda

noun

information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.

The word propaganda has a lot of negative connotations in most people’s minds. People think of lies, wars, and corrupt governments, but propaganda can be used for good, and it can be used to tell the truth. In Du Bois time art and writing were used to counter misinformation and raise people’s awareness, tolerance, and compassion.

Today the world still needs this kind of art and like Du Bois I believe all art should be propaganda. I have no use for things that are just “pretty to look at”. I have no use for art that doesn’t make me feel or see something I haven’t before, or doesn’t remind me of a part of myself I have forgotten.

All artist and writers should strive to tell a truth about the world, correct a wrong they see, or counter a conventional, yet incorrect or harmful belief. Du Bois meant specifically the belief that “all things white were good” and “all things black were bad”, but what about “women always say ‘no’ when they really mean ‘yes””, or “all gay people are perverted”? What about “all Muslims are terrorists” or “racism doesn’t exist anymore”?

Artists and writers should be working to make the world greater through their work. They don’t have to tackle big issues, even a small contribution is worthy. A personal story that sheds light on the parts of our lives we are ashamed to talk about or that illustrates the immense love that can be found in a family is something I would consider good and beautiful. I talk about my little life with my girlfriend and my pets, but I want to show that even the ordinary should be seen as wonderful and rare. I want to show that each of us is something and that we all deserve happiness. My art has a meaning.

Art should always spread information and ideas about what is good, bad, beautiful, and right and wrong. It should raise awareness and tell a truth about the world. It should shine light wherever darkness and evil still prevail.

Biographical information via Wikipedia, Goodreads, and Biography.com

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Malcolm X

Continuing the theme for Black History Month this weeks Writer’s Quote Wednesday is dedicated to one of my personal favorite people, Mr. Malcolm X, also know as “Detroit Red”, and later, as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.

Born Malcolm Little, on May 19, 1925, his childhood was one of great tragedy. His father was murdered when he was only six years old and his mother was placed in a mental institute when he was 13. He and his seven siblings were then separated and placed into foster homes. He then became quite the criminal, engaging in drug dealing, gambling, racketeering, robbery, pimping, and, by some accounts, prostitution.

He wound up in jail where he developed a love for the written word. He devoured book after book after book. He was, in effect, a self educated man and encouraged others to become the same. I don’t believe that he much good to say about the American education system. In fact, in his own childhood he struggled with being a bright and gifted student while being told by white teachers that he could never be what he wanted due to the color of his skin.

Malcolm grew up to become a great civil right’s leader and is often remembered for being more militant and harsh in his methods and criticisms of White America and it’s treatment of Black people. I recommend everyone read his autobiography, The Autobiography of Malcolm X. His journey to becoming such a controversial leader and public figure has many surprising twists and turns, and there is so much we can all learn from him, whether we agree with all his views or not.

His assassination, on February 21, 1965, was, in my mind, one of the saddest moments in American history.

“How is it possible to write one’s autobiography in a world so fast-changing as this?”

Malcolm X

Many times in his life Malcolm reinvented himself. Throughout his life many of his views changed and he openly admitted whenever he had been wrong. The times were changing and changing fast, and so was he. One of the things I like about Malcolm is his dedication to reading and learning more and more throughout his life. It was through books and meeting other people that he grew. He is the epitome of the idea that the best education is not found in a school.

I imagine that it was hard for Malcolm to write, or more accurately, tell, his story when he himself wasn’t sure about who he was or who we all are. He was trying to find the answers to what we all should do while at the same time changing his views with every new bit of information. He realized that nothing in life is permanent and no autobiography can truly be complete.

I often think I know something but when I stop to listen or take time to read, I realize that I don’t know every thing and I don’t know how things should be or what we should do. I can’t even be sure from one moment to another that I fully know who I am. I seem to change and shift and with every movement I wonder how I can explain myself to the world when I can’t even explain myself to myself?

But that’s one of the great things about living in this day and age. Through blogs and social media we can all explain ourselves over and over, as needed, and as the world changes.

P.S. Can you imagine what some of these great minds would do with a Twitter account?