In the 1950 's, segregation and discrimination were extremely prevalent. King and his supporters faced harsh treatment and unfair laws such as the Jim Crows Laws that stated, “Black were forbidden to use the same drinking fountain as the whites, as well as restaurants, theaters, or public facilities, and blacks had to sit in the rear of the buses”(Myers 112). In 1955, two cases of this unfair treatment were conducted, first a 15- year old girl refusing to give up her seat to a white man and second a 42-year old woman named Rosa Parks who was being forced to giving up her seat for a white man. Both of these cases lead these women to jail sentencing, even though it was their right to sit in the colored section of the bus (“Martin Luther …show more content…
Malcolm joined the Nation of Islam because he liked the tactic of using violence to get what they needed. Malcolm’s famous quote “By any means necessary” shows he would do anything to become equal to the whites, including using violent pretences (Biography.com Editors). Malcolm and the leader, Elijah, encouraged the membership of all black people, including the lowest economic group and those with the lowest community standing (Myers 72). Also, they accepted those who were actively sinning and tried to reform them (Myers 72). In addition, the Nation of Islam emphasized the right to self- defense, they did not believe in being aggressive towards anyone but insisted that no one could attack a black man, women or chill without suffering the same kind of hostility (Myers 73). After a span of time, Malcolm discovered his trusted partner betrayed him leading Malcolm to resign from the Nation of Islam in 1964 (Biography.com Editors). Malcolm traveled to Mecca to recleanes his mind and soul, once he returned to the United States he no longer wanted violence, he was a peaceful man (Biography.com Editors). "Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression," he stated. "Because power, real power, comes from our conviction which produces action, uncompromising action." (Biography.com Editors). He let the power take over his mind which blinded him of the overall goal, he wanted freedom for the blacks not tyranny or oppression, he wanted
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Although Malcolm words often stung with the injustices against blacks in America, the equally racist views of the Nation of Islam kept him from accepting any whites as sincere or capable of helping the situation. For twelve years he preached that the white man was the devil and the "Honourable Elijah Muhammad" was God's messenger. Unfortunately, most images of Malcolm today focus on this period of his life, although the transformation he was about to undergo would give him a completely different, and more important, message for the American people. The Change to True Islam
Other Muslims thought Malcolm was getting to powerful. One example of the conflicts Malcolm's power caused involved the leader of the Muslim Nation, Elijah Muhammed. Elijah Muhammed was said to have fathered two young women's children. Malcolm went to talk to the women. The women told Malcolm that Elijah always talked behind Malcolm's back, saying bad things. Malcolm's faith was shattered. He was with the Black Muslim religion for twelve years. He decided to try to take, and make his own Islam religion. Muhammed found out about this, and said that Malcolm could not preach for 90 days.
With Malcolm's imprisonment ended the acceptance of the ghetto hustler and gangster life. In prison Malcolm had to find a new place to turn for acceptance. As his father did, Malcolm turned to religion. The religion he turned to, The Nation of Islam or more commonly known as the Black Muslims, were a group of African Americans who believed, among other things, that whites were the roots of evil. Malcolm became immersed in his religion. It seeped into every part of his life. "For the next years I was the nearest thing to a hermit in the Norfolk Prison Colony. I have never been more busy in my life" (173). Malcolm wrote many letters to family and friends about his new found faith and , most importantly, he found the acceptance he longed for with the teachings of Mr. Muhammad. This acceptance gave him purpose and after his release Malcolm became one of the foremost representatives of the Nation of Islam.
He developed a hate that tore him apart due to the racism and prejudice him and his family suffered at the hands of white Americans. After all the mess he got himself into, he hit a low point and ended up in jail. That is when he discovered the Nation of Islam. This religion made him pick up all the pieces and start a new life. However, over the years, Muslims began to get a bad name. Just as Islam’s image is misconstrued by the media as well as ignorance in the present time, for Malcolm X and the Muslims in his time, it was no different. In today’s media, Islam is always being accused of being a violent religion and for encouraging hate. Anything and everything related to terrorism is automatically linked to Islam. Many Americans, who do not have knowledge about Islam, see Muslims as violent, unpatriotic, and terrorists. Little do people realize that history is repeating itself. The media exploited Muslims intentions back then as well by calling them “hate-messengers” and “violent-seekers” (Malcolm X, 152). They also painted the same picture of Muslims being “fascist” and “anti-Christ” (Malcolm X, 152). They would display “Mr. Muhammad, me, and others speaking . . . strong-looking, set-faced black men, our Fruit of Islam ... white-scarved, white-gowned Muslim sisters of all ages... Muslims in our restaurants, and other businesses... Muslims and other black people entering and leaving our mosques...” in a television show titled
X was also an inspiring speaker such as the likes of King Jr. Except he would fight using violent methods if necessary, “by any means necessary”, unlike King. If the American authorities did not want to deal with the peaceful protests of King then Malcolm X would be the second option. However, after leaving the Nation of Islam Malcolm X’s attitude changed to that of non-violent protest for integration. Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965 by members of the Nation of Islam.
What is segregation? Segregation is set apart or separation of people or things from others or from the main body or group. (dictionary.com) In the 1930s African Americans did not have the right to vote. The policy of segregation meant that blacks had their own churches, schools, football teams, and even their own cemeteries. The Great Depression also took place in the 1930s. The economic crisis of the 1930s, the Great Depression, is one of the most studied periods in American history. Racism was at a high point in the 1930s.
Instead of going to school to get a traditional education, he dropped out of school at fifteen and learned the ways of the streets. Malcolm associated himself with thugs, thieves, dope dealers, and pimps. He was convicted of burglary at age twenty and remained in prison until he was twenty-seven. During his prison sentence, he became a changed man. He educated himself and he learned about and joined the Nation of Islam, studying the teachings of Elijah Muhammed. Elijah taught Malcolm how history had been “whitened by the white man” (p.184) and he echoed “the black convict’s lifelong experience” where “the white man is the devil,” (p. 186). This thought process encouraged many black inmates to discover the Nation of Islam.
Malcolm studied the teachings of the leader of the Black Muslims, Elijah Muhammad, who advocated an independent black state. The Nation of Islam was based on a theology adapted from several models: traditional Islamic teachings principles of Black Nationalism, and economic self-help programs that addressed the needs of African Americans living in urban ghettoes. Unlike traditional Islam, which rejects all forms of racism, the Nation of Islam declared that whites were the "devil by nature," and that God was black. However, the Black Muslims predicted that in the near future a Great War would take place in which whites would be destroyed and black people would rule the world through the benevolence of Allah, their creator. To prepare for this new order, the Nation of Islam stressed personal self-restraint, opposed the use of drugs and alcohol, and organized economic self-help enterprises that eventually included farms, food stores, restaurants, and small businesses.
Malcolm X's siblings, four of whom had already converted to Islam, introduced Malcolm to the words of Elijah Muhammad, the Nation of Islam's leader. The two men communicated, and Malcolm continued his course of study, and eventually wrote to the Massachusetts governor and demanded the right to practice Islam in prison. He also joined the prison debate team and began attracting attention for his public speaking skills. Malcolm X’s career would have been very different if he had not been introduced to the nation of Islam. Malcolm X, before being introduced to the nation of Islam, was involved any many criminal activates. By the time Malcolm was 20, he was sent to prison for 10yrs, for street hustling, burglary, gambling, selling drugs and other criminal behavior. If Malcolm was not introduced to The Nation of Islam, his career would have been drastically different. Malcolm could have gotten out of prison and continued to sell drugs, gamble and steal, which wouldn’t have made him a hero to all African Americans, but a criminal, that cared about nothing, but himself.
He was sentenced to 8 years in Massachusetts State Prison. His education had come to an abrupt halt due to his life of crime. In jail, Malcolm used his sentence to gain a Master’s degree. Malcolm’s brother visited and discussed his recent conversion to the Nation of Islam, a Black nationalist organisation which used Islam to deal with the hardships of White supremacy in North America. Curious to find out more, Malcolm studied the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm underwent a transformation in prison. He learnt the value of knowledge; Malcolm famously said “education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare it for
“Jim Crow” laws dictated that a black person must surrender their seat to a white person if there were no other seats available, and stand at the back of the bus. In December 1955; Rosa Parks refused to do this, and was arrested and fined $10. Her friends and family, led by Martin Luther King (who would later become leader of the Civil Rights Movement), immediately started a twenty-four hour bus boycott in response, and found it so successful that it was decided they would continue until the bus company agreed to seat customers on a first-come basis. Many black people became involved with the boycott, and as black passengers made up 75% of the bus company’s business it proved to be enormously damaging. The boycott attracted more black people to the civil rights movement.
Malcolm X was a man who supported violence in getting equal rights for black citizens. To do this, he assisted the national Muslim leader, Elijah Muhammad by sharing the Black Muslim beliefs throughout the United States. Malcolm X started many Muslim groups and worked hard to develop racial pride in his black listeners by recognizing the suffering whites caused by blacks. With the Black Muslims, Malcolm X practiced a vigorous self-defense against white violence. He also urged blacks to live separately from whites and prevented them from attaining their freedom. He affected his followers so much that when his followers would see white people they would often harass or hurt the white people. Through his travels in the Middle East and Africa, he began to realize and change his views regarding potential brotherhood between black and white Americans and rejected the view that all whites were devils. (Harris 99) He thought that one day his religion could unite people of all races. To do this he formed his own group, The Organization of Afro-American Unity. Many people, both black and whites admired his tireless efforts to build pride in blacks and whoever shared his dreams that someday everyone would be joined in brotherhood. Malcolm X was admired by many people because of his drive to unite the blacks and whites as one, but many people also condemned his as a hypocrite and traitor because of his change in views. Malcolm X
Before Mecca when Malcolm was still a part of The Nation of Islam he was taught the principles of racial hatred and separatism. Their beliefs were based on that the race known as “white” were to be considered as “ devils”. Malcolm quickly believed in their leader Elijah Muhammad and began to rise quickly through the ranks becoming a national celebrity. But, it was soon after this that Malcolm found out the truth about his leader. He found out that
Malcolm was arrested and got into prison for ten years. During the time in prison, he decided to gain his knowledge. While he read more, his perspective had changed too because he can view the point more complex. Malcolm accepted to become a Muslim which he approved the Nation of Islam’s viewpoint. After prison releases Malcolm, he purchased the pair of eyeglasses, suitcase, and a wrist watch. Malcolm said, “… without fully knowing it, I was preparing for what my life was about to become.” This shows his determination to help blacks rights. While the Malcolm became successful, the conflict between Malcolm and the leader of Nation of Islam had raise up because they had different opinion of how to struggle for black right. After leaving the Nation
The history of United State has shown many racial discriminations since colonists arrived America. African Americans have suffered unequal treatments and punishments in comparison to white people and European immigrants. Even when slavery was abolished in 1865, African Americans were still victims of many inequalities like employment, rights, housing, and transportation. However, due to these inequalities and mistreatments like the Jim Crow Laws, many African Americans started to make a change during the 1950’s, also called the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks, that was arrested for sitting in the front of a bus in Alabama. Rosa Parks case made the supreme court to ban segregation in public transportation. The social difference during the 1950’s was very notable and obvious, and voting was a big example of the huge discrimination suffered by African Americans and minorities. In the south, white people would take away minorities’ right to vote by making them take a test that would decide if they were or not capable to make a political decision. Fortunately, big characters like Martin Luther King vouched for the end of this inequalities. Martin Luther King played a big role in the 1960’s making everyone aware about the change that was about to come.