We read X: A Novel


In March, we read and discussed X: A Novel by by Ilyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon. Although this wasn’t a Great Stories Club selection, we decided to that it was fitting addition to the theme: “Hack the Feed: Media, Resistance, Revolution.”

x

X: A Novel details Malcolm X’s childhood and young adult years – who Malcolm X was before he was X.

We started the discussion off by providing some historical context for the time period of Malcolm X’s Life: 1925 – 1965. We talked about what life was like for black folks living in different parts of the country during the Jim Crow era into the Civil Rights Movement.

We debunked the common argument: “slavery was so long ago, get over yourself…” by talking about this graph and what it means for the African American experience.

slavery timeline

In the book, there’s a scene where Malcolm is on a date at a night club and was deeply affected by Billie Holiday’s powerful and moving song, “Strange Fruit.” We discussed the significance of the lyrics to the story and how and why they had such an impact on Malcolm.

I adapted a PowerPoint by the York Region District Schools (Ontario, Canada) to aid with our discussion of Malcolm X’s life.  The Life of Malcolm X – A PowerPoint Presentation

Students responded to their reading through art. Here are a couple of the their responses.

X tree hanging

malcom by an

We had a thought provoking discussion which reminded me of a previous book club discussion from a few months back when we read another book by Kekla Magoon, How it Went Down.

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