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Extra resources for Alex Haley: Author (Black Americans of Achievement)
For one, the jealousy among Malcolm X’s brothers and sisters in the Black Muslim community had, as he feared, begun to escalate. Even Muhammad had become openly critical of his chief disciple, silencing Malcolm on one occasion for his misuse of the press and then removing him from his position of authority in New York. 45 ALEX HALEY 46 More significant for Malcolm X personally was his deepening faith in and commitment to Islam, and the doubts that he had begun to develop about Elijah Muhammad’s teachings and the tenets of the Nation of Islam.
More often than not, however, Haley was quickly able to turn his crewmates’ complaints into a friendly conversation about his own interest in and talent for writing. ” “I began writing love letters for the crew,” Haley recalled, laughing fondly at his earliest days on board the Murzin. ” Haley’s elaborate and romantic letters, ghost-written for his fellow crewmembers, would eventually inspire his first ill-fated attempts to become a published author. Each time the crew cast anchor, he would stuff a handful of envelopes into the ship’s mailbag, filled with sensationalized, sentimental love stories that he had written for popular magazines such as True Confessions and Modern Romances.
As busy as Simon was in his position as a college dean, he never missed a chance to make his point. On one occasion, when the family was living in Alabama, Simon took his sons to the Tuskegee Institute to meet the great black scientist George Washington Carver, who gave each of the boys a flower and echoed Simon’s favorite message on the importance of long, hard hours of study. In time, all of Simon’s encouragement and pressure would have their effect. S. S. Navy Department, Lois was a music teacher, and Alex, of course, was already a highly celebrated author.