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Extra resources for Alex Haley: Author (Black Americans of Achievement)
Even with all the hard work, it was rough going for a while. ” He almost did. “One day I was down to 18 cents and a couple of cans of sardines, and that was it,” he told a reporter almost 20 years later. At Sea Broke and discouraged, Haley sought friendship and support from other writers in the community whose work he admired. At one point, he wrote to six prominent black writers living in the Village, asking for advice and encouragement. The only one to respond was James Baldwin, the highly respected author of Go Tell It on the Mountain.
Navy Department, Lois was a music teacher, and Alex, of course, was already a highly celebrated author. The years following his mother’s death were not an easy time for Alex. If his uncharacteristic silence regarding the period is any indication of his feelings, he never really recovered from the loss of his mother, nor would he ever fully adjust to his father’s remarriage when he was 12 years old. As 21 22 ALEX HALEY Alex approached adolescence, his father’s well-intentioned demands began to take their toll.
In January 1965, Haley called Malcolm X from a pay telephone at Kennedy Airport in New York. Haley told Malcolm X that his younger brother George had just been elected state senator in Kansas, and the two men talked openly about what Malcolm X considered a dubious honor. “Tell your brother for me,” Malcolm X cautioned his friend, “to remember us in the alley. ” Later that day, the two resumed their conversation in a parking lot, and Malcolm X continued to speak of his frustration at being excluded from and unrecognized by the movement he had done so much to create.