Alex Haley


Haley was born Alexander Murray Palmer Haley on August 11, 1921, in Ithaca, New York. Alex Haley was a writer whose works of historical fiction and reportage depicted generations of African American lives. He is widely known for Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The author is credited with inspiring a nationwide interest in genealogy and contributing a larger awareness to the horrors of racism and slavery and their place in American history. While some critics have condemned Haley for his fiction masquerading as historical facts, others perceive him as an important storyteller who, despite his wrongdoings, was able to reveal broader truths. Source

Malcolm X


Malcolm X, original name Malcolm Little, Muslim name el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, was born May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was an African American leader and prominent figure in the Nation of Islam who articulated concepts of race pride and Black nationalism in the early 1960s. After his assassination, the widespread distribution of his life story— The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)—made him an ideological hero, especially among Black youth. Source


Excerpt from "The Autobiography of Malcolm X, as told to Alex Haley"

I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. I certainly wasn’t seeking any degree, the way a college confers a status symbol upon its students. My homemade education gave me, with every additional book that I read, a little bit more sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness, and blindness that was afflicting the black race in America. Not long ago, an English writer telephoned me from London, asking questions. One was, “What’s your alma mater?” I told him, “Books.” You will never catch me with a free fifteen minutes in which I’m not studying something I feel might be able to help the black man.





Literary Movements:

Civil Rights Movement

Anthology Years:



Education & Learning

Literary Devices:


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie


written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing