Page 1

Is You Is: The Autobiography of Malcolm X While summer reading is meant to be enjoyable, it is also the first unit of the course. As such, then, summer reading should be prepared with greater care and detail than you might read a “ beach book.” This means identifying central characters, noting themes and motifs that appear through the book, and marking passages that are significant. Taking a few short notes at the end of each chapter can greatly help your recall of details in class discussions. Take particular notes on the following questions. They will help provide the basis for your major essay on the book. 1. Malcolm describes the racial prejudice in Lansing, Michigan. Give three examples of this prejudice and explain the negative psychological impact such prejudice could have on black people. 2. How did Malcolm psychologically cope with the death of his father? 3. What were Mr. Williams’ (Malcolm’s history teacher) views on black history? Explain. 4. Malcolm says that if he hadn’t moved to Boston he would “still be a brainwashed black Christian.” Explain. 5. What are the unique elements of the urban black community in which Malcolm lived? 6. What were the circumstances that led to Malcolm’s imprisonment? 7. What were the reasons for his conversion to Islam? 8. Why did he choose “X” as a name? 9. How was Elijah Muhammad a spiritual father to Malcolm? 10. What made them turn against each other? 11.In what ways was Malcolm X considered a political radical? 12. What was his relationship to Martin Luther King? 13.How did his pilgrim edge to Mecca transform him? 14. Why was he assassinated and by whom?