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 protestsweren’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 MalcolmLittle 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 memberscame to their house and told Mrs. Little to send out her husband. She came out of the house and stood where all theKKK could see that she was pregnant and told them that Mr. Little was in Milwaukee preaching.Order now
The KKK,disappointed, shouted threats and told them to leave town. After this they broke every window in the Little’s homeand left. When Mr. Little came home and heard what happened, he decided to move as soon a Malcolm was born toLansing, 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 theKKK, 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 andwanted to become a lawyer.
When the school heads heard about this, they sent a person to talk to Malcolm. Thisperson told and convinced Malcolm that he was black and that he could never become a lawyer because of it. As aresult, he dropped out of after the eighth grade and moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he worked severaldifferent jobs. Soon, Malcolm became associated in a gang and sold and used drugs, and was involved in many othercriminal activities.
His gang career ended when he got into some trouble due to a bet with the gang leader. Sincethe 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 caughtlater.
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 theteachings of Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm spent his time in jail educating himself and learning more about theNation 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-Americanhomeland in the U. S. and believed that the white person is the Devil who wanted to enslave all non-whites. TheNation 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 andsince the slave didn’t know who their ancestors were, and therefore didn’t know their real last name, they often tookup the last name of their master. Many Muslims kept the name X because in math, X is represented as anunknown variable like their real last name. A person was to keep the name X until God himself gave them a holyname(Encarta 2). Soon after his release from jail, Malcolm worked for his oldest brother who managed a furniture store. Whileworking, he also gave many speeches, and went fishing(fishing is when someone stands out on a sidewalk andhand out brochures and explained about their ideas of the Nation of Islam. ) for new members for the Nation ofIslam.
He did this until he became an official spokesperson for them. After officially being excepted, Malcolmrapidly 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 prominentspokesperson. 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 theNation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad chose Malcolm X.
For the next few years, Malcolm X was a major and widelypublicized figure. This had it’s good and bad side. It was good because it spread the ideas of the Nation of Islam allacross the WORLD, but also put Malcolm X in an awkward position since he received a lot of publicity. Because ofall the attention he got, many of the nation of Islam’s members became jealous. As a result, they bad mouthedMalcolm X behind his back for many years to Elijah Muhammad. They said many things, like Malcolm was gettingtoo 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 wastaking credit for the things Mr. Muhammad really did. This was anything but the truth because Malcolm alwaysmentioned As Elijah Muhammad teaches. . . in everyone of his speeches.
He also worshiped and would have diedfor Elijah Muhammad if he had to. Over the course of the next few months, Malcolm’s eye’s were finally opened tothe happenings behind his back due to a series of events. These events eventually led to his break away from theNation of Islam. After breaking away, Malcolm announced that he was creating a new organization (Organization ofAfro-American Unity (OAAU)) that didn’t have the strict and harsh rules and religious sacrifices as the Nation ofIslam, and which was also going to be more active. Soon after announcing this, he found out that he had a lot ofsupport 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 andinternally ordered him assassinated. For the next few months, Malcolm and his family were harassed by threateningphone calls. His house was even burnt down.
Then finally on February 21, 1965, while addressing an OAAU rally inNew 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 sawthat change took time. Malcolm disagreed with Mr. King was because he didn’t believe the peaceful protestsworked.
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 aseparate place for the blacks to live in while Mr. King wanted to end segregation and have blacks and whites livepeacefully. My opinions toward Malcolm X’s beliefs are that I disagree with most of what he said.
I believe that what he taughtwas 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 theanswer to anything. Finally, I believe his ideas towards white men being devils and evil seem to be unjustified. Isay unjustified because many white men tried to join both the OAAU and the Nation of Islam, were denied.
Mylogic is that if the white men were evil, why would they try to join them and help them? Although I disagree withmost of Malcolm’s X’s beliefs, I do agree that all Blacks should join and become unified, because in unity, there ispower.