Malcolm X is an African American Muslim, a priest, orator and human rights activist. He is known as one of the most famous blacks in the history of mankind. People, who supported him, called him a strong fighter for the rights of African Americans, while adversaries blamed him for preaching racism, black race superiority, antisemitism, and cruelty.
Malcolm X essay is a really interesting thing to read, cause he was one of the most contradictory in the history of the black rights movement in the USA.
His real name was Malcolm Little. He was born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska in the United States of America. His father Earl Little told him about the self-respect and independence of the black race at a very early age.
Little Malcolm had to see that the racial problems in the country were quite acute. It is said that four of his father’s brothers were killed by a white racist. On September 8, 1931, Earl Little got under the tram — according to an official conclusion accidentally, although many people from the local black community were inclined to accuse the representatives of racist organisations.
Malcolm’s mother, Louise Little, tried to get married again.
Unfortunately, her new husband left her soon after she became pregnant again. Nervous tension cost Louise mental health; she was sent to a psychiatric hospital. Malcolm himself changed a number of shelters and foster families. The boy got in touch with a bad company.
Since 1945, Malcolm settled in New York Harlem. He traded drugs and women, was engaged in burglaries and thefts. Eventually, in 1946, he got into Charlestown State Prison.
‘Nation of Islam.
Time in prison was extremely productive for Malcolm. For his unbridled character and cruelty, he received the nickname ‘Satan.’ His prison mate John Elton Bembry was the person, who changed his life once and forever. Bembry had total immeasurable respect in prison.
It was especially unbelievable that Bembry won his authority exclusively by diplomacy and acute intelligence. John and Malcolm became friends, Bembry was able to awaken the young man’s interest in reading and self-education. It was the time when he became acquainted with the movement ‘Nation of Islam’. It promoted black superiority, advocated the separation of black and white Americans, and dismissed the civil rights movements.
It aroused Malcolm’s interest, and he reconsidered his views. He even quit smoking and eating pork. At the end of 1948, Malcolm wrote a letter to the leader of the movement, Elijah Muhammad. Muhammad persuaded Little to repent of his deed, to renounce the past, to start praying to Allah and to promise never again to take the path of destruction.
Malcolm has always been a rare skeptic, so it was hard for him to bow to an invisible entity in prayer. In just a week, however, he managed to overcome himself. Malcolm was released on parole on August 7, 1952. He got a clear conscience and a new faith — by this time Little had already changed his name.
The ‘X’ chosen by him was connected to his true African family, which Malcolm never knew. The surname ‘Little’ from that moment was associated only with the white slave owner, who got into his family tree completely accidentally. Shortly after the liberation, Malcolm X personally met Elijah Muhammad. This meeting occurred in Chicago, Illinois.
Very quickly, Malcolm became an assistant priest, and then a full-fledged priest.
Popularity and further activity
Malcolm attracted the interest of the FBI back in 1950. He wrote a letter to President Harry S. Truman.
In his proclamation, X protested against the war in Korea and called himself a communist. In 1953, FBI kept watching over Malcolm on a regular basis — the FBI suspected that his remarkably fast growth inside the movement ‘Nation of Islam’ was somehow connected to the Communists. X, meanwhile, actively organized new temples and recruited new supporters. His prominent speaker skills and wonderful external characteristics helped him with this.
In 1955, Malcolm X met Betty Sanders. The woman was subdued by one of Malcolm’s lectures. After dinner with the speaker she became his inveterate admirer — and by mid-1956 she herself had joined the ranks of the ‘Nation of Islam.’ It was difficult to call them a classical couple — traditional dates contradicted the ideology of the movement.
Malcolm and Betty X were officially married on January 14, 1958, in Lansing, Michigan. Betty gave birth to six daughters — two of them, the twins Malaak and Malikah, were born after the death of Malcolm. He was an official representative and one of the leaders of the movement for almost 12 years. Eventually, he left the group due to the conflict with Elijah Muhammad.
For a while, X had a journey to the Middle East and Africa; the religious organisation ‘Muslim Mosque, Inc.’ was created as a result of this traveling. Everybody knows about the bus boycott in Montgomery in 1955/56, organized by Martin Luther King. Malcolm X wanted to move further.
He believed that he was the one who can change the world. He often taunted King, criticizing him for subjugating blacks to their white oppressors and teaching them to be ‘defenseless in the face of one of the cruelest beasts that has ever taken a people into captivity.’
His beliefs underwent substantive changes through his life. While being the representative of the ‘Nation of Islam,’ X spoke for the supremacy of the blacks and the racial division.
Later, however, he converted to Sunni and left racism, starting to fight for the right to self-defense and peaceful self-determination. The ‘new’ Malcolm categorically denied his former beliefs. Malcolm’s relations with the ‘Nation of Islam’ became considerably worse. A year after this he left the group and was killed by a trio of members of NOI.
His death date was February 21, 1965. It caused a great public response — his wife got condolences from Martin Luther King (Jr.). Elijah Muhammad also responded to the death.
He declared that the ‘Nation of Islam’ had nothing to do with the incident and that Malcolm’s death was caused only by his own stupidity and ignorance.
Cite this Malcolm X assignment
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