Malcolm X Biography Essay

1085 WordsJul 3, 20115 Pages
Throughout history there are many great people who dedicated their life to the advancement of the African American race. Few of these people created as much controversy during the 1960’s then the man who would be known as Malcolm X. Unlike many of the civil rights leaders of the time who promoted non violence, Malcolm X believed in the use of aggressive tactics in his battle for equality. Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska to Earl and Louise Little. His father, a minister and devout Christian, was known for being an outspoken follower of the black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Garvey’s message promoted the “back-to-Africa” movement that encouraged African Americans of the time to sever ties with…show more content…
Malcolm began a life of using and selling drugs, home invading, gambling, as well as wearing flashy clothing. He moved to Harlem in 1942 and continued his rise in the criminal world, becoming known as “Detroit Red” for his reddish brown hair. When the authorities became aware of his illegal activities he returned to Boston. Four years later at the age of twenty, Malcolm was arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison for burglary. It would be the time spent in prison that would transform Malcolm and change him from a career criminal to the activist he would later be known as. He visited the prison library and read books on religion, philosophy, and history. He read and copied the entire dictionary acquiring the skills that would make him a powerful public speaker. He dedicated his time in prison to his own personal development and through his brother Reginald learned of the organization known as the Nation of Islam or the Black Muslims. The Nation of Islam is an Islamic religious organization founded by its leader Elijah Muhammad which promoted Black separatism from whites culturally, physically, politically and psychologically. Malcolm began to follow the preachings of Muhammad and practiced the religion devoutly, giving up drug use, alcohol consumption, as well as eating pork. Upon his release from prison in 1952 Malcolm traveled to Chicago, Illinois to meet with Elijah Muhammad. Muhammad accepted
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