In My First Conk, Malcolm X assured that black people were being

Malcom X and his article titled "My First Conk” say that black men conked their hairs to unify their existence in the society of white people. This was never done to truly satisfy a personal desire. Conking was a popular procedure done in black males to straighten their hair in 1940's.

It's my first Conk soap and I wasn't disappointed.

as shown in his essay, My First Conk, Malcolm X, in fact, was victimized by this

Malcolm X My First Conk - Essay - 462 Words - StudyMode

After reading Malcolm X's "My First Conk" from the Patterns book, respond to the following question: This Process explanation has an explicitly stated thesis that makes its purpose clear. What is this thesis?"

Repost: My First Conk | The Loc Diaries

is a short essay, excerpted from Malcolm X's larger work The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Unlike many other autobiographical excerpts, "My First Conk" is a wonderful stand-alone piece. I remember the passage stood out to me when I read his autobiography in high school, and I have often had cause to trot it out in discussion since.

Although I'm as white as they come, I have curly hair. Furthermore, I'm a pro-curly-hair activist of sorts. There is definitely a stigma attached to curly hair. On white girls at least, it's "unprofessional" and "untidy." Our hair is supposed to hang and shine like glass, to be put into place and stay there, under our control. Well frankly, not all hair is going to do that.

The situation is a lot more severe for black people, both men and women. Black women bear the brunt of this stigma these days, as long as black men are happy with keeping their hair cropped short and bland. But back in Malcolm X's day, black men weren't supposed to have curly hair, either.

Enter the conk. This hairstyle was popular in the middle of the last century, particularly among black men who were in the public's eye, like musicians and actors. Although the conk has fallen almost completely out of favor, older black men like James Brown and Al Sharpton still sport them.

To "conk" your hair simply meant to straighten it, so that you could then style it however you liked. Once your hair looked like "white hair," you were set. Unfortunately, getting there in the 1940s was not a happy process. Chemical straigtening and relaxers are pretty harsh today, but back then, they were downright lethal.

Malcolm X describes how his friend Shorty offered to help him out with his first conk. Shorty gave him a shopping list (lye, two eggs, two medium-sized potatoes) and helped him mix the homemade straightener. And then he applied it.

"I gritted my teeth and tried to pull the sides of the kitchen table together. The comb felt as if it was raking my skin off."


He then describes his joy upon looking in the mirror, after it was all done, and seeing a white man's hair. The straightener not only straightened out his kinky hair, it also bleached it red. Double bonus!

"This was my first really big step towards self-degradation: when I endured all of that pain, literally burning my flesh to have it look like a white man's hair."

After describing the grueling process of getting his first conk, Malcolm X goes on to condemn the practice. But unlike so many of Malcolm X's condemnations, this one comes from a position of personal shame. He openly confesses to having conked his hair for many years before he finally gave it up. This heartfelt self-effacing tone sets "My First Conk" apart from a lot of Malcolm X's writing. And the political points he makes are, sadly, as valid today as they were in the 1960s when "My First Conk" was written.

My First Conk By Malcolm X from The Autobiography of Malcom X, 1964
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Hair History: “My First Conk” | Natural High

"My First Conk" is a story about part of Malcolm X's life written by Malcolm X. The story was about when Malcolm had his first conk. A conk straightened a black man's hair, so he could look more like a white man. It went through a process on how he and his friend conked his hair...
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Thesis Statement on My First Conk | Category: History

My First Conk - Le Mars Community Schools

Malcom X and his article titled “My First Conk” say that black men conked their hairs to unify their existence in the society of white people. This was never done to truly satisfy a personal desire. Conking was a popular procedure done in black males to straighten their hair in 1940’s.
The author explains that getting his hair conked was definitely not a delightful experience. Going through the pain of the hot lye burning in his scalp was part of the conking procedure. This was to be done every time someone had to be conked, but evidently was a procedure worth going through each time. Malcom X looked at himself in the mirror admiring his straight hair like he had gone under some kind of miracle transformation of a white man, and told himself that he would never be without one. This type of change gave him a some type of recognition to himself.
The author stated that no matter where a negro resided, there was conking going around, and black woman wearing wigs of various colors to endure a white woman’s appearance that hoped to give them a sense of class to their name. But in actuality only made them look foolish pretending to be someone they are not. What they failed to realize was that they have lost their sense of identity, stated Malcom X. They are black men and woman trying to live their lives in a community where the whites are superior and the blacks are inferior. This became a standard in which almost everybody grew up to believed in.
Malcom X also implied that the black community tried to change their ways of physical appearance to get appreciated and they were just as human as the white community. They were simply changing materialistic properties of themselves to become what they think the white community wanted to see.

The author identified that while the black community was so rapped up in their conking stages, they neglected to realize that their intellectuality still strongly existed. He b...

Summary of My First Conk - by Amyg919 - Anti Essays

Eng 101.N02: "My First Conk" response questions

During the first half of the twentieth century, Malcom X was one of the many African American men who got caught up in trying to imitate the appearance of their white counterparts. One way they would try to imitate this appearance was by conking their hair so that it straightened out and looked like the hair of Caucasian men.
Malcom X, in "My First Conk", vividly explains the steps he went through when he recieved his first conk. In doing so, he is better able to make his readers understand his position. Malcom X states that activities such as these are only degrading to the race as a whole, and by explaining the process shows why it is humiliating and unnecessary. Showing that cover ups like these are humiliating are discouraging to African Americans, which is exactly Malcom X’s purpose; to show his people that by trying to change their identity to mimic someone else’s is shameful, and that in order to be strong as a race acceptance is key. In the end of his process he reminds his readers that he has also gone through the humiliating actions they have; that he had once embraced the conk just like they did. This too is another way in which Malcom X attempts to unite his people. He is showing that while they must strive towards the common, correct goal, they have also all faced the same perils and obstacles thrown at them by society.
Malcom X’s entire purpose through not only this essay, but also through the majority of his work that he spent his life on, is unity and acceptance among his people, and through that prosperity.