Malcolm X Essay

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Malcolm X

The fifties and sixties were a crazy time to live; riots were happening, many Civil Rights Movement leaders were speaking in the streets, and student sit-ins were held. Many radical activists were preaching their thoughts on racism and things needed for equality. Some people felt it necessary to turn the other cheek to violence while others claimed it to be a right to defend themselves. The major figures in the Civil Rights Movement had their own opinions on how to equalize society. Martin Luther King, Jr. felt that a peaceful movement was the best route to freedom. I discovered after much research that famous African American figures tended to side with Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad on the best approach. Rosa Parks, Maya
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After his conviction of theft, he served a total of seventy-seven months in three different prisons. He had asked for the last transfer to have access to a better library. These are not traits of an honorable man. During his incarceration Malcolm took advantage of the opportunity to grasp all the knowledge he could. He had always wanted to be a lawyer and now had the chance to study law. He even attended classes in jail consisting of English and Latin. “But it was Malcolm’s discovery of black history and the advances made by African civilizations, especially the ancient Egyptian civilization, that created his insatiable appetite for knowledge,” (Jenkins 451). Malcolm learned history and realized how important this knowledge was to advance the freedom and separation of Africans in America, not of America. This appetite he gained was one that would never cease, he carried it with him everywhere he went. Now these are traits of an honorable man. Malcolm decided one day while speaking with a fellow inmate that he needed to change his life and beliefs. This man, Jason Elton Bembry, led him to Allah and the Nation of Islam.

After adopting this new religion, Malcolm decided to eliminate his surname of Little and take the badge of “X”. “The black Muslim X was regarded as a badge representing the rejection of the slave name and the beginning of a symbolic search for one’s ancestral identity,” (Jenkins 578).

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