The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Alex Haley Character Analysis

Malcom X’s collaborator in writing his Autobiography, Alex Haley does not show up as a character until the Epilogue. There, he informs the reader of his two years spent talking with Malcolm late into the night, uncovering the most intimate details of his life. While Malcolm initially distrusted Alex thanks to his military background and status as a journalist, he eventually became an important source of emotional support and trust in Malcolm’s life.

Alex Haley Quotes in The Autobiography of Malcolm X

The The Autobiography of Malcolm X quotes below are all either spoken by Alex Haley or refer to Alex Haley . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ballantine Books edition of The Autobiography of Malcolm X published in 1992.
Epilogue Quotes

But this was the kind of evidence which caused many close observers of the Malcolm X phenomenon to declare in absolute seriousness that he was the only Negro in America who could either start a race riot—or stop one. When I once quoted this to him, tacitly inviting his comment, he told me tartly, "I don't know if I could start one. I don't know if I'd want to stop one." It was the kind of statement he relished making.

Related Characters: Malcolm X (speaker), Alex Haley (speaker)
Page Number: 403
Explanation and Analysis:
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He talked about the pressures on him everywhere he turned, and about the frustrations, among them that no one wanted to accept anything relating to him except "my old 'hate' and 'violence' image." He said "the so-called moderate" civil rights organizations avoided him as "too militant" and the "so-called militants" avoided him as "too moderate." “They won't let me tum the corner!" he once exclaimed, “I'm caught in a trap!"

Related Characters: Alex Haley (speaker), Marcus Garvey (speaker)
Page Number: 431
Explanation and Analysis:
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Alex Haley Character Timeline in The Autobiography of Malcolm X

The timeline below shows where the character Alex Haley appears in The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Epilogue: Alex Haley
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After 20 years in the Coast Guard, Alex Haley hears about a new religion called the Nation of Islam, which is only for... (full context)
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Finally, Malcolm suggests Alex go to Chicago to ask permission from Elijah. Elijah talks primarily of being under government... (full context)
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Alex publishes his piece, entitled, “Mr. Muhammad Speaks”, and he is praised by Elijah and Malcolm... (full context)
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Malcolm has now begun to trust Alex as a viable outlet to mainstream news. Then, in 1963, Alex’s agent proposes that he... (full context)
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Malcolm is caught off guard by Alex’s proposal for an autobiography. After considering the proposal, he agrees, on the condition that the... (full context)
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...project begins very poorly. Malcolm often arrives visibly exhausted, and he is still unsure of Alex’s allegiances. He believes that Alex may be a spy for the FBI, and treats him... (full context)
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Just as Alex starts to lose hope, he realizes that Malcolm often scribbles random notes on scrap paper... (full context)
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The next time Malcolm comes, Alex asks him, on a hunch, about his mother, Louise. Malcolm is so exhausted and emotionally... (full context)
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After a short trip out of town, Malcolm returns, proudly telling Alex that his questions about his mother Louise had pushed Malcolm to go and visit her.... (full context)
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Malcolm’s daily conflicts often bleed into his sessions with Alex. If something bad happens to the Nation, he’s fuming with anger. If someone (like Martin... (full context)
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In this time, both Alex and Malcolm get very little sleep, as they stay up late talking and then spend... (full context)
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Alex’s position in the press allows him to see other people’s opinions of Malcolm, and then... (full context)
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Eventually, Alex and Malcolm develop a truly friendly relationship. Malcolm opens up to Alex, and Alex finds... (full context)
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Alex observes that Malcolm has a growing respect for individual white people which gives testament to... (full context)
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Alex observes that Malcolm is most at ease when he’s taking his daily walks through the... (full context)
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One day, Malcolm asks Alex if he has “heard anything” being said lately. Alex responds that he has no idea... (full context)
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...as he trains. This helps to take his mind off his present worries. Malcolm calls Alex, insisting that Cassius will win his fight. When Cassius does win the fight, he goes... (full context)
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Alex moves to upstate New York to work on his book. In his phone calls with... (full context)
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Alex soon conducts an interview with Cassius for Playboy magazine, and Cassius says that he doesn’t... (full context)
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...to New York, clearly upset and believing his life to be in danger. He tells Alex that he was kicked out of the Nation because of jealousy and because of his... (full context)
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Malcolm receives lots of secretive phone calls while he sits with Alex, and he tells him one day that he’s “a marked man.” Alex worries this may... (full context)
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Late in March, Malcolm sends Alex a note, letting him know about his imminent visit to Africa and to Mecca. He... (full context)
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One day, Alex sends Malcolm several chapters to review, and he is horrified at the amount of edits... (full context)
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...his life, and that’s regarding his brief relationship with Laura. Another time, he mentions to Alex that the day he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger three... (full context)
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While Malcolm travels abroad for an additional six weeks (which irks his OAAU staff), Alex sends him news clippings about him, some good and some bad. When Malcolm returns, he... (full context)
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In December, Malcolm and Alex again meet up in New York City to go over the latest version of the... (full context)
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One day in January when Alex is between flights, Malcolm drives out to Kennedy airport to talk with him in his... (full context)
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Malcolm returns to New York, calls Alex, and confesses to being completely exhausted. Nonetheless, he must hit the road again, this time... (full context)
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...find one they like, but they need $4,000 for a down payment. Malcolm then calls Alex to ask if the publisher may advance him the money; Alex promises to find out... (full context)
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Late that afternoon, Alex joins the public viewing line, waiting to see Malcolm. Policemen stand by keeping watch while... (full context)
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Alex tells the reader that Malcolm asked him to be a writer, “not an interpreter,” and... (full context)