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Continuing to make my way through transcripts of interviews I did with ppl sentenced to juvenile life w/o parole & it’s astonishing how many say that reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X was a transformative moment in their life. How so many say it literally saved their lives.
Malcolm’s autobiography had an enormous impact on me & so many other ppl who read it. But the incarcerated folks I’ve spoken to speak of it w/ a different level of reverence. This sense that they both saw themselves & saw what might be possible to make of themselves all at once.
There’s much to be said about how Malcolm curated a specific version of himself for that book that left out many other parts of his life (you should read Manning Marable’s biography of him.) Still, there’s a special power in stories that model what it means to reinvent yourself.
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