Malcolm X, a civil rights leader in the 1960’s believed that blacks and whites should be segregated. He also believedthat white man was evil and were trying to brainwash all blacks and that Martin Luther King’s non-violent protests
weren’t working and that violence was needed for change.
Malcolm X’s life was a life with a lot of conflict and violence in it. Malcolm X was born under the name of Malcolm
Little in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925. His father was a baptist minister and an outspoken follower of Marcus Garvey,
the black nationalist leader of the 1920s who preached that all blacks should leave the US and go back to Africa.
While Malcolm’s father was away and Malcolm’s mother was pregnant with Malcolm, a group of KKK members
came to their house and told Mrs. Little to send out her husband. She came out of the house and stood where all the
KKK could see that she was pregnant and told them that Mr. Little was in Milwaukee preaching. The KKK,
disappointed, shouted threats and told them to leave town. After this they broke every window in the Little’s home
and left. When Mr. Little came home and heard what happened, he decided to move as soon a Malcolm was born to
Lansing, Michigan. Here was where Malcolm’s father died at the hand of the Black Legion (X 4-!
13). After Malcolm’s father’s death, his mother who had to take care of eight children and endure threats from the
KKK, suffered a nervous breakdown. As a result, Malcolm and his siblings were taken by the welfare department.
Malcolm was later enrolled in a reform school and did very well grade wise. He was the best student in his class and
wanted to become a lawyer. When the school heads heard about this, they sent a person to talk to Malcolm. This
person told and convinced Malcolm that he was black and that he could never become a lawyer because of it. As a
result, he dropped out of after the eighth grade and moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he worked several
different jobs. Soon, Malcolm became associated in a gang and sold and used drugs, and was involved in many other
criminal activities. His gang career ended when he got into some trouble due to a bet with the gang leader. Since
the gang wanted Malcolm killed, Malcolm hid for a while. Soon, Malcolm decid!
ed to rob a house which he heard had a lot of valuables in it. Soon one night, he robbed the house, but was caught
later. Malcolm was charged with burglary and sent to prison for a maximum of eight years of which he served six.
This was a turning point in Malcolm’s life. While in prison, Malcolm educated himself and became interested in the
teachings of Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm spent his time in jail educating himself and learning more about the
Nation of Islam (later known as the Black Muslims). Their belief, which was contrary to Martin Luther King Jr.’s,
mainly to was to segregated whites and blacks. The Nation of Islam wanted to establish a separate Afro-American
homeland in the U.S. and believed that the white person is the Devil who wanted to enslave all non-whites. The
Nation of Islam also strictly followed the Islamic belief.
When Malcolm was released from prison after in 1952, he joined a temple in Detroit, and took the name Malcolm X.
He took the name X because his present last name was the last name of the slave master who freed their slave and
since the slave didn’t know who their ancestors were, and therefore didn’t know their real last name, they often took
up the last name of their master. Many Muslims kept the name X because in math, X is represented as an
unknown variable like their real last name. A person was to keep the name X until God himself gave them a holy
Soon after his release from jail, Malcolm worked for his oldest brother who managed a furniture store. While
working, he also gave many speeches, and went fishing(fishing is when someone stands out on a sidewalk and
hand out brochures and explained about their ideas of the Nation of Islam.) for new members for the Nation of
Islam. He did this until he became an official spokesperson for them. After officially being excepted, Malcolm
rapidly became an outstanding figure in the Nation of Islam.
By the early 1960s, the Nation of Islam had become well known and Malcolm was their most prominent
spokesperson. Malcolm gave many speeches and had dedicated his life to serve Elijah Muhammad and God.
Because of the Nation of Islam popularity, television reporters were now very curious about it. To represent the
Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad chose Malcolm X. For the next few years, Malcolm X was a major and widely
publicized figure. This had it’s good and bad side. It was good because it spread the ideas of the Nation of Islam all
across the WORLD, but also put Malcolm X in an awkward position since he received a lot of publicity. Because of
all the attention he got, many of the nation of Islam’s members became jealous. As a result, they bad mouthed
Malcolm X behind his back for many years to Elijah Muhammad. They said many things, like Malcolm was getting
too much money from the Nation of Islam, when infact all he got from them was a house and car for twelve years!
of service. Another thing they said was that Malcolm was trying to take over the Nation of Islam and that he was
taking credit for the things Mr. Muhammad really did. This was anything but the truth because Malcolm always
mentioned As Elijah Muhammad teaches… in everyone of his speeches. He also worshiped and would have died
for Elijah Muhammad if he had to. Over the course of the next few months, Malcolm’s eye’s were finally opened to
the happenings behind his back due to a series of events. These events eventually led to his break away from the
Nation of Islam. After breaking away, Malcolm announced that he was creating a new organization (Organization of
Afro-American Unity (OAAU)) that didn’t have the strict and harsh rules and religious sacrifices as the Nation of
Islam, and which was also going to be more active. Soon after announcing this, he found out that he had a lot of
support too. The creating the Organization of Afro-American Unity also made the Natio!
n of Islam very angry, because Malcolm X took a large part of their supporters. As a result, they secretly and
internally ordered him assassinated. For the next few months, Malcolm and his family were harassed by threatening
phone calls. His house was even burnt down. Then finally on February 21, 1965, while addressing an OAAU rally in
New York City, Malcolm was shot to death.
Malcolm X’s disagreed with Martin Luther King’s beliefs because Malcolm wanted change now while Mr. King saw
that change took time. Malcolm disagreed with Mr. King was because he didn’t believe the peaceful protests
worked. Malcolm believed that violence was the only way through which change would take place. Finally,
Malcolm disagreed with Mr. King in the fact that Malcolm wanted to segregate blacks and whites and create a
separate place for the blacks to live in while Mr. King wanted to end segregation and have blacks and whites live
My opinions toward Malcolm X’s beliefs are that I disagree with most of what he said. I believe that what he taught
was teaching hatred. I also believe that he set the civil rights movement back because he un-did everything Mr.
King stood for and did. I also disagree with his idea of usage of violence because I don’t believe it solves or is the
answer to anything. Finally, I believe his ideas towards white men being devils and evil seem to be unjustified. I
say unjustified because many white men tried to join both the OAAU and the Nation of Islam, were denied. My
logic is that if the white men were evil, why would they try to join them and help them? Although I disagree with
most of Malcolm’s X’s beliefs, I do agree that all Blacks should join and become unified, because in unity, there is