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Word Count: 480
Malcolm Xs narrative essay Coming to an Awareness of Language describes his lengthy frustration over his inability to communicate with his colleagues about racial discrimination In the end he triumphs over this problem and becomes a nationally-respected communicator in the African-American civil rights movement His story is intense and often sad yet it is also victoriousMalcolm Xs story begins in Harlem which he describes as a hustling world occupied by characters with colorful monikers like Sammy the PimpJumpsteady and Detroit Red X 17 As these names suggest it is a world of miscreants routine illegality and petty crimes These transient citizens commonly do time in prison In fact while he was in prison Malcolm X sent letters to his former colleagues addressed to the bars and clubs where he used to see them Sadly He never got a single reply 17 Later he voiced his complaints about racism to public officials including a mayor a governor and the President of the United States They never answered 17While in prison his awareness of white racist society crystalized and he realized that Islam and the teachings of Elijah Muhammad might better serve the interests of the American Negro 17 At the same time he came to understand that his language skills were nearly minimal I not only wasnt articulate I wasnt even functional 17 This realization became a great motivator for Malcolm He began a process of self-education 17 During the next phase of his growth he requested a dictionary tablets and pencils from the prison school He was stunned to realize his ignorance of the number of words in the English language 18 He pronounced them repeated them and re-wrote them Eventually he copied every word in the English language out of the dictionary When he finished that he started again With each repetition he became more familiar with animals geographical locations and history thus deepening his understanding
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