The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Study Guide Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

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After arriving in Boston, Malcolm's sister Ella encouraged him to explore the city before finding a job. Her reasoning was that once he found work, there would be no time to see the city. Malcolm spent about a month visiting all areas of the city. Because of his size (he was very tall), people thought he was much older. Through his travels of the city, Malcolm learned of the social status of the various African-Americans.

Malcolm preferred the ghetto area. Upon befriending Shorty, a man also from Michigan, Malcolm quickly landed a job as a shoeshine attendant at a ballroom. Here, he learned a whole new vocabulary used in the black community and a lot about the "hidden" life of the city. It was also in this position that he decided to straighten his hair into a greased back style called a "conk." The straightening procedure was...

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This section contains 467 words
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