African American Leader: Malcolm X

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In 1946, Malcolm X and his friends were arrested of burglary, while Malcolm X was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but he was released on parole seven years after serving his sentence. During these seven years, Malcolm’s family and friends mentioned to him a Muslim religion, that advocated African Americans to self-reliance, which religious organization made Malcolm X interested. He decided to wrote to the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, but he spent seven years in prison, he found that he did not have enough words to write letters, so he began to read hard. He particularly praised Mao Zedong, because Mao Zedong advocated a violent revolution like him. Because there was a weekly debate in the prison, it makes Malcolm X became an outstanding speaker.

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After parole, since Malcolm X had already contacted Elijah in prison, Elijah appreciated him and let him become a pastor. He believed that Elijah was a saint in religion and morality. Malcolm X set an example for himself, proclaimed Islam to everyone, and he won the warm support of the African Americans. With his efforts, he soon became one of the leaders of the Nation of Islam. In 1963, Elijah Muhammad was accused by two Muslim female secretaries, saying that he was the father of four of their children. Malcolm X never thought that the saint who was enshrined by the African Americans had committed adultery. For his conscience and justice, he decided to leave Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam.

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were two prominent African American leaders in the mid-20th century Civil Rights Movement, all of whom were assassinated at the age of 39. Martin Luther King advocates a nonviolent resistance, while Malcolm X advocates a violent resistance. However, the differences of thought between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, only reflect the difference in the means of struggle. This two men led the Civil Rights Movement in the South and the North respectively, they jointly promoted the development of the Civil Rights Movement, and they make unremitting efforts for freedoms and equal rights of African Americans.

After leaving the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X knew that he could not live for a long time, and he thought he had done his best for his people. His speech “”The Ballot or the Bullet”” was published on April 3, 1964. Just 10 months after the speech was published, on February 21, 1965, Malcolm X delivered a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, three gunmen suddenly rushed onstage and shot him with 15 times at close range. At this day, Malcolm X died.

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African American Leader: Malcolm X. (2019, Mar 25). Retrieved March 21, 2023 , from

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