He was born May 19th, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska Malcolm X (originally Malcolm Little)’s father, a baptist minister, was an activist but he was killed when Malcolm was 6 years old, making the family poor. His mother went mad and was placed in an asylum, and siblings and him were sent to foster homes
He quits formal education when told he would be a carpenter and not a lawyer in 8th grade. He was sent a juvenile detention home in Michigan but soon was moved to the Roxbury section of Boston to live with his half-sister Ella, from his father’s previous marriage.
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During his teenage years, he dealt drugs, was a hustler, and was the leader of a gang of thieves in Roxbury and Harlem (NY)
He was in prison for robbery from 1946 to 1952, which lead him to convert himself, and join the Nation Of Islam – his brother Reginald was also a member and was one of the reason Malcolm decided to convert- they had been in prison together in 1948.
The Nation Of Islam was a movement for African-Americans that combined elements of black nationalism and Islam
He quit eating pork, smoking and gambling to be in this Nation – all those were part of the requirements to be a member.
All members had to replace their last name with ‘X’, it was a custom among the Nation of Islam followers who considered their last name to have originated from white slaveholders
He met Elijah Muhammad (leader of the Nation Of Islam) in Chicago (1952), who inspired him to organize temples for the Nations in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and other cities in the Southern US, and he created the Nation’s newspaper: Muhammad Speaks
Contrary to other activists who wanted African-American rights to be equal to white rights, Malcolm X argued that blacks were naturally superior to whites
Malcolm became the minister of one of the temples that he founded himself: Temple No. 11 in Boston. He was later promoted to be the minister at Temple No. 7 in Harlem
Elijah Muhammad appointed Malcolm X as the National Representative of the Nation of Islam. This meant that Malcolm was the most important person in the Nation, right after Elijah
Malcolm spoke at many universities including Harvard and Oxford around the major phase of the civil rights movement: 1955 – 1965
1963 – deep tensions between Malcolm and Elijah Muhammad ovec the political direction of the Nation
Malcolm brought bad publicity to the Nation with a controversial comment about President John F. Kennedy, so was ordered by Elijah to do a period of silence for 90 days – they then became estranged
Malcolm left the Nation in 1964
He made a pilgrimage to Mecca,, and converted himself again to Sunni Islam, and adopting the Muslim el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz and stopped believing in the separatist ways of the Nation
In 1965, he founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity, moving from civil rights to human rights
Malcolm received open death threats and violence due to the hostility between him the Nation
He was assassinated on February 21st 1965 while giving a lecture in the Audubon ballroom in Harlem – 3 members of the Nation of Islam were convicted for it
Impact on Society:
Malcolm X was a standout amongst the most huge figures inside the American dark patriot development. A significant number of the thoughts he explained, similar to race pride and self-protection, ended up ideological pillars of the Black Power development that rose during the 1960s and ’70s’.
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