Malcolm X was largely into Truth and Justice – but not the American Way. He felt “patriotism” was a crutch certain people were using to get at his own kind, as they were not letting them have their full civil and human rights. However, potent patriotic forces, albeit Black Nationalist ones, were what inevitably killed him. He had stood up to the leadership of the Nation of Islam, perhaps mostly as a political power play, and it had cost him. But he had grown in his appreciation of desegregation and the human rights of all people, and in his acceptance of the Islamic faith.
While a member of the Nation of Islam, Malcolm promoted a sense of racial pride in being black. While he promoted nationalism and retaliation against whites (Malcolm once said “Power never takes a back step – only in the face of more power.”), he also instilled a sense of strength in the black race. Along these lines, Malcolm said “A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.”
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska on May 19, 1925. His father, Earl Little was an outspoken Baptist preacher and an avid supporter of the Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. The young Malcolm was to be moulded by his father and the terrible oppression that was inflicted upon his family. The family was forced to move twice after receiving death threats from white supremacists. The family eventually settled in Lansing, Michigan but their efforts to escape trouble failed, the family home was burned to the ground and two years later Earl Little was found dead in suspicious circumstances.
Malcolm’s childhood was full of struggle, as he grew up living in various state institutions and boarding houses. Apart from this, he was also sent to a juvenile home on account of delinquency when he was thirteen. Gradually Malcolm was drawn to a criminal life of gambling, drug peddling and also burglary. Soon, Malcolm was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment for burglary. During his sentence, Malcolm came to know about the Islamic religious organization called the Black Muslims.
He was finally paroled in 1952, and as he was very handsome, bright and articulate, he was immediately appointed a minister and national spokesman for the Nation of Islam. He became a media darling, having a tall, youthful and charismatic presence on camera, and he was seen as the best possible Nation of Islam spokesperson. Elijah Muhammad had him establish mosques in several cities, such as Detroit and Harlem, and Malcolm X used newspapers, radio and television to get the Nation of Islam’s political ideology across to Black America and others. His drive, conviction, obvious honesty in his political ideology and extreme devotion to the cause attracted a huge number of new members to the Nation of Islam, swelling its membership from 500 in 1952 to 30,000 in 1963. It is purported that he met his wife to be, Betty Sanders, outside of a radio station in a hallway around this period of time, but they probably actually met after a speech Malcolm X gave at a Harlem Islamic temple.
In summary, Malcolm X was the most outspoken and famous Islam member in America. His speeches and his debates on Face the Nation or Meet the Press made him known throughout America as a civil rights leader speaking against the unjust system of segregation. You’ll be surprised to discover that Malcolm X was not self-taught but became interested in reading and writing because of a phenomenal educational program intended for prisoners all across the country.
By charlemagne from Pixabay