malcolm x from his passage homemade education malcolm was an african american who educated himself in understanding the civil rights of african americans. malcolm had a rough life he was convicted several times and in prison began to learn how to read and write. during his sentence he met inmates who were far more educated than malcolm this triggered his determination to try and read books. he struggled in the beginning as he would only read over the words he knew it was until he was in the norfolk prison colony that he realized in order to be able to read write and understand books he must begin by exploring the dictionary. as the days went on malcolm began to quickly write down all of the words from the dictionary along with the meaning to them this fascinated him he could not believe there were these many words. day by day he would start remembering more words and their meanings this also fascinated him. malcolm would also read aloud the words he had written for that day and review any he did not understand. eventually he finished the entire dictionary and had grown his vocabulary.