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Biography Of Malcolm X

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Malcolm X was born on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska as Malcolm Little to parents Earl and Louise Little. The Littles moved to Lansing, Michigan when Malcolm was an infant due to threats the family received from the Klu Klux Klan. This was because Reverend Earl Little was an early follower of Marcus Garvey, who preached black independance and self-respect (Altman, 197). Reverend Little died when Malcolm was only six years old after being hit by a streetcar. Malcolm always believed that this was a hate crime committed by whites. Many speculate that this is what originally caused Malcolm to distrust whites. Malcolm’s mother, Louise Little, was committed to the State Mental Hospital in Kalamazoo in 1939. Her exact illness is unknown (Mamiya).…show more content…
He met the leader of the NOI, Elijah Muhammad in Chicago in 1952 and Malcolm soon began opening temples for the NOI in major cities. He went on to found the NOI’s newspaper, Muhammad Speaks, that he printed out of the basement of his home. Malcolm articulated the Nation’s doctrines of whites being inherently evil and blacks being naturally superior. Malcolm was quickly rising in rank and growing closer to Elijah Muhammad. Soon, he was second in command to Elijah with much more power over the NOI. Due to Malcolm, the NOI gained a large increase in membership and the influence of the group always exceeded its size. Malcolm was an ideal representative due to his public speaking skills and ability to represent the emotions of NOI members. Throughout his rise of power, Malcolm continued to criticize the mainstream Civil Rights Movement. He challenged Martin Luther King Jr’s notions of integration and nonviolence and argued that more was at stake than simply the right to sit in a restaurant or vote. He wrote in his book, “No sane black man really wants integration! No sane white man really wants integration!” (X, 250). He felt that the most important issues were black identity, integrity, and independence. He urged his followers to defend themselves by any means necessary and told critics, “I don't call it violence when it's self-defense, I call it intelligence,” (X). In his ideology, blacks could never…show more content…
Malcolm received death threats and open violence towards him. An NOI temple leader ordered the bombing of his car. Elijah Muhammad told a minister that "hypocrites like Malcolm should have their heads cut off" (PBS). His house was set fire once, but nobody was harmed. Malcolm X was assassinated by a gunshot to the chest on February 21, 1965 while speaking at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, New York. Three members of the NOI were convicted in his murder. His ideas were immortalized in his autobiography, Autobiography of Malcolm X (Altman, 199). Malcolm X left an everlasting impact in the fight for racial equality. Some of his ideas were radical, but he was able to gain support and followers due to his fundamental thoughts being intelligent and beneficial to black Americans. Simple thoughts such as shifting people from referring to African-Americans as “colored” and larger ideas such as movements to end police brutality are Malcolm X’s legacy. The Black Lives Matter movement credits Malcolm X as a person who endlessly fought for civil rights. Countless activists today quote Malcolm X’s profound words as inspiration and continue his lessons today. Malcolm X was definitely not a typical civil rights activist, but that is what made him even more
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