Malcolm X understood that words are a powerful tool, and he often used them to inspire and speak the truth. The thunderous orator crystalized his palpable energy inside the pages of his book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X. And nearly 55 years after its release, it’s still considered a poignant work that encapsulates the frustrations and beauty of Black America. 

Activists, entertainers, and avid readers Killer Mike and Amanda Seales virtually got together to discuss their love and deep respect for the civil rights icon ahead of Audible’s September release of the first full-audio version of the non-fiction work since its original publication. The Run The Jewels lyricist, who first read X’s autobiography at 14 years old, notes that it “blossomed [my] mind like a flower.” 

For Seales, Malcolm X’s literary work acted as a personal roadmap for her growth and development. “Malcolm’s story was part of my guidance to my soul,” she shares.

To help bring the book to life, Audible tapped Oscar-nominated actor Laurence Fishburne to narrate. As Mike and Seales ping-ponged between the importance of Malcolm X and the timeliness of his book, it was Fishurne’s spirited delivery of a passage about voting that merited a zealous reaction from both.

“Voting is a weapon to be brokered, to use or not use, but to be used effectively as a tool,” Mike says. “Malcolm saying that in this time right now, y’all better listen to that quote.”

Piggybacking off of Mike’s sentiments, Seales also notes the importance of participating in the election process, particularly for Black men and women.

“Voting for Black folks has to still be seen as a do or die situation,” she says. “When we’re looking at Malcolm and we’re looking at John Lewis and we’re looking at everybody fighting for the right to vote, it’s because they said our lives are worth this.”

Check out the full conversation above and then be sure to download the Autobiography of Malcolm X As Told to Alex Haley performed by Laurence Fishburne on Audible now.