Black History

* Malcolm X



  Elke Moritz

0. Foreword

April 1998.
It's been more since six years now that I wrote the following paper "Two Roads To Freedom". Back in 1992 I was still in school. Here in Germany, if you want to go to university, you have to go to school for thirteen years. In the 12th grade students have the chance to write an essay, the so-called "Facharbeit" in one of their main-subjects. I decided to write about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. as a "Facharbeit" in English. I had been interested in African-American history and music since 1988 when I was 14 years old, and the Facharbeit was the chance for me to use my major hobby in school. (Also, it gave me an excuse for my parents who always thought I spent too much money on CDs and books on African-American history.)
The official time to write the Facharbeit was 12 weeks in spring 1992, but I started collecting the necessary material much earlier. It was very difficult to gather the information, since I was living in Bingen, Germany, which is quite a rural area. I was happy about every useful book I found at the local libraries. Back then I didn't have the chance to order books from internet online bookstores (I only started using the internet when I began studying computer science in 1993). This also explains the wide variety of different pieces of literature which I listed in the bibiography.
I had access to Time & Newsweek Magazines at my school, but this were only the European versions, many interesting articles on African-Americans weren't included in these editions. Only articles "interesting" for Europeans were included. This may also explain some of my views in the chapters "My own opinion" and "Conclusion". I guess that today some of my views have changed, my knowledge has increased, and I have had the chance to discuss Malcolm X with many other people from all over the world via the internet. But I won't change a word in "Two Roads To Freedom". I really doubt that I could write some of the chapters as powerful as I did back then (see esp. the introductory chapter).
I chose the topic of my Facharbeit by myself and did all the research alone, too. Writing such a huge text in a foreign language is quite difficult, which might explain why I only got 13 out of 15 possible points as a grade (15 equals a 1+ or A+, 13 a 1- or A-). The teacher thought that ca. 30 mistakes in more than 13,000 words was too much ;-)
Since I wrote the paper for school, I had to include explanations to most common expressions (like conking, OAAU etc.) and I had to use British English. I was also only allowed to write 12 (!) pages of text, so I chose a very small font size :-), but couldn't get as much into details as I wanted to. Therefore many things might appear to be left out or to be not covered closely enough. My teacher also criticized that the chapter on my own opinion was too short, but on the other hand I was already over the page limit.
So if you want to discuss a certain section or have any questions concerning "Two Roads To Freedom", please contact me.
Elke Moritz, Kaiserslautern

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