The Autobiography of Malcolm X


Malcolm X

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Malcolm X can help.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X Terms

Ku Klux Klan

The Klu Klux Klan is a national white supremacist organization. Throughout the Jim Crow Era and beyond, Klan members have been responsible for the lynching and house bombings of African Americans, along with other acts… (read full term analysis)

Black Legion

A splinter group of the Klan, the Black Legion operated throughout the Midwest during the Great Depression. (read full term analysis)


Hustlers, in Malcolm’s day, are young men looking to make money through independent ventures which are usually illegal, ranging from selling drugs and alcohol to armed burglary. They typically sported conks and zoot suits. (read full term analysis)

Zoot suits

A style of suits first popularized in African American communities, they became popular with other groups, as well. Zoot suits typically used excessive fabric, giving them a baggy look which was supposed to signal wealth… (read full term analysis)


A type of swing dance, the Lindy hop was closely associated with jazz music of the 1920s and 1930s. It was named for Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly non-stop from New York City… (read full term analysis)
Get the entire Malcolm X LitChart as a printable PDF.
The autobiography of malcolm x.pdf.medium

Nation of Islam

Founded in 1930 by W. D. Fard Muhammad, the Nation is an African American organization that fuses a political message of Black Nationalism with an adapted form of Islam. (read full term analysis)

Fruit of Islam

The Fruit of Islam is the paramilitary force of the Nation of Islam. It is composed of young men, whose commitment to the Nation makes them its “fruit.” (read full term analysis)


The Hajj, a pilgrimage to the ancient city of Mecca, is one of the central pillars of Islam. All able-bodied Muslims are required to undertake the Hajj at least once in their lives. (read full term analysis)


Pan-Africanism is a philosophy that calls for solidarity among all people of African descent throughout the world. It recognizes people of African descent as being oppressed in many different national contexts, and aims to build… (read full term analysis)


Colonialism is the historical phenomenon when one nation-state takes over territory claimed by another nation or people, imposes a foreign political and economic structure and settles its own “colonists” in its new colony. Colonialism usually… (read full term analysis)

Muslim Mosque Inc.

Founded by Malcolm X in 1964 after leaving the Nation of Islam, the organization failed to continue after his assassination. (read full term analysis)

Great Depression

The Great Depression is the worst economic depression in US history. Following the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the country struggled through chronic unemployment and poverty rates for the next ten years. (read full term analysis)