Dumbness, Deafness and Blindness
Malcolm x was, a black American was born on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska by Earl and Louis Norton Little in a family of eight children. His mother was a homemade a Baptist minister and a supporter of the black national leader, Marcus Garvey.
There exists a myth or rather a stereotype in the society that an individual will attain the highest level of education by only attending institutions of higher learning such as university or renown college. A close study of Malcolm x novel, however, reveals to us that this is an approximation of reality. In his essay Malcolm who had been imprisoned in Charlestown prison called “prison studies”
He explains how he became educated by reading and rewriting every word in the dictionary and reading as many books as possible. He says every book he read increased his sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness, and blindness which was afflicting the black Americans. He calls this type of education as “homemade education” through his writings the society wipes out the mentality that has been existing
Sensitivity to black American’s problems regarding education
There exists a feeling that when an individual has a high level of education, this person is worth than others, higher education in the sense that one has gone through university or occupational training mainly after high school. Homemade studies opened Malcolm x up. It is this education that made him more sensitive to deafness, dumbness and blindness that was afflicting black American men
According to Malcolm x university education is not the only primary source of intellectualism. The huge world in our midst can teach us much more than a structured program of study. He observed that there is so much emphasis on which college one attends rather than the content that one obtains from the college. He was of the opinion that the process of learning is endless even when one has been confined or imprisoned.
Malcolm x who was a minister in the nation of Islam suggested that students from the black American race were in the worst predicament as they attended overcrowded lecture halls in an attempt to grasp something from an assistant lecturer. Malcolm x observed that students did not have direct access to qualified professors as they were busy publishing books. Universities focused much on publications and researches by professors and not their ability to teach well.
A professor or a lecturer whose publications and researchers are excellent despite poor teaching skills was assured of job security whilst one who doesn’t publish is fated. These institutional weaknesses and too much emphasis on higher education has been the primary cause of dumbness, deafness, and blindness
Malcolm x was of the opinion that reading and understanding is what is important. As an inmate, he read endless books and just that was equally important to attending institutions characterized by poor teaching techniques. Through his intensive reading, he traced the history of the black people. He was even in a position to describe to other black inmates horrible slavery-trade trade truths that they never knew this made them happy since the whites had completely erased the slaves’ past. However, some could still not believe Malcolm x until the same was explained by a white scholar who had vowed not to reveal the same to black races. In his prison life, Malcolm says that through debating speaking to a crowd was as exciting to him as the discovery of knowledge through reading had been. He had gained enough courage.
Malcolm x observed that the black race in America was vulnerable to blind conformity. They tried to change their way of living and began behaving like the white people. He was against this behavior and in his essay, he says he observed the blacks conking their hair, to him the blacks looked down on themselves as they did not accept themselves the way they were. an overemphasis of the media and outside opinions degraded their morals and this was a way of giving up public rights they were fighting for. The act of disregarding their strong values, cultures and their ways of doing things and adopting those of white is what Malcolm x regards as blind conformity and is so strong that people in the present generation will be willing even to undergo pain to fulfill it-piercing their ears is just but a good example.
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Deafness is the inability of ears to hear. Malcolm x referred to black people as deaf though they could hear. His effort at showing the blacks that they could indeed win the battle of fighting for their rights if they identified themselves with the oppressed all over the world fell on deaf ears. Malcolm had such an attitude that the black would be successful in their fight for equal rights. In his essay, he shows how the white looked at the black as something less than a human. Malcolm x was the idea that it is not a deaf and hearing thing but everybody’s thing. The black family needed to understand the white family and the white family needed to reciprocate by understanding the black family. This would reduce the killings in the world. Malcolm x helped people understands that they are all deaf i.e. what deafness entails.
Malcolm x had a dream that one day the blacks and the white would ride in the same vehicle. Malcolm was not a racist in nature but all he wanted was equal treatment of all people irrespective of their skin to lour however only a few whites were willing to accept changes. This was one of the factors that were setting up the rivalry between the blacks and the whites. Later Malcolm was killed by gunmen and his house was firebombed by people believed to be racists. The police could not help but watch as Malcolm’s family burnt together as they were sleeping. Malcolm's message was that blacks must acquire a sense of pride, a sense of dignity and a sense of value towards their identity. Malcolm x is a true hero to African Americans who deserves great respect for his contribution to fighting for the oppressed
Malcolm x began speaking publicly about his new-found beliefs thus performing a new role that of that of Teacher and that of an Orator. When he is out no prison and he happens to come across black people in a temple who are very proud and who recognize and appreciate themselves. He knows that his dream is about to come true. Malcolm x suggested that as long as there were understanding and respect between the black and the white numerous problems which existed between them would eventually come to an end
In conclusion there may never be universal solution to problems associated with formal education since endless distractions are attached to it; poorly paid teachers, ever crowded lecture halls, inadequacy of teaching facilities, lecturers with inadequate teaching skills just to mention few thus there should be no too much emphasis on structured curriculum as day to day experience is the best form of education. According to Malcolm homemade education gave him with every additional book that he read more and more sensitivity to blindness, dumbness and deafness.