Malcolm X: “Learning to Read”



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Malcolm X: “Learning to Read”

  • As you read:
  • ANNOTATE—Outline the main ideas in the margins (at least two per page).
  • Circle three challenging or new words—guess at the word’s meaning by using context clues.

After reading: Critical thinking questions

  • What process does Malcolm X use to “learn” to read? How does it differ from how you learned?
  • What’s an emotion you could use to describe Mx’s feelings about the reading and learning process he begins in jail? Explain your selection.
  • Even though he’s in jail, how does reading make him feel?
  • Give 2 specific examples of information Mx discovered through his prison readings.
  • On page 253, Mx is asked, “What’s your alma mater?” and he replies, “Books.” What does he mean here?
  • What is ironic about Mx’s final question in the essay?


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