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Malcolm X is a powerful voice in American history. In his short lifetime he went through several significant shifts in his lifestyle and philosophy. The hardships that Malcolm endures as a child led to his fascination with life in the fast lane, where he used his wits as a hustler and thief.
black militant leader who articulated concepts of race pride and black nationalism in the early 1960s
Malcolm X, a civil rights leader in the 1960's believed that blacks and whites should be segregated. He also believed
that white man was evil and were trying to brainwash all blacks and that Martin Luther King's "non-violent protests"
weren't working and that violence was needed for change.
Malcolm X's life was a life with a lot of conflict and violence in it. Malcolm X was born under the name of Malcolm
Little in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925. His father was a baptist minister and an outspoken follower of Marcus Garvey,
the black nationalist leader of the 1920s who preached that all blacks should leave the US and go back to Africa.
While Malcolm's father was away and Malcolm's mother was pregnant with Malcolm, a group of KKK members
came to their house and told Mrs. Little to send out her husband. She came out of the house and stood where all the
KKK could see that she was pregnant and told them that Mr. Little was in Milwaukee preaching. The KKK,
disappointed, shouted threats and told them to leave town. After this they broke every window in the Little's home
and left. When Mr. Little came home and heard what happened, he decided to move as soon a Malcolm was born to
Lansing, Michigan. Here was where Malcolm's father died at the hand of the Black Legion (X 4-!
13). After Malcolm's father's death, his mother who had to take care of eight children and endure threats from the
KKK, suffered a nervous breakdown. As a result, Malcolm and his siblings were taken by the welfare department.
Malcolm was later enrolled in a reform school and did very well grade wise. He was the best student in his class and
wanted to become a lawyer. When the school heads heard about this, they sent a person to talk to Malcolm. This
person told and convinced Malcolm that he was black and that he could never become a lawyer because of it. As a
result, he dropped out of after the eighth grade and moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he worked several
different jobs. Soon, Malcolm became associated in a gang and sold and used drugs, and was involved in many other
criminal activities. His gang "career" ended when he got into some trouble due to a bet with the gang leader. Since
the gang wanted Malcolm killed, Malcolm hid for a while. Soon, Malcolm decid!
ed to rob a house which he heard had a lot of valuables in it. Soon one night, he robbed the house, but was caught
later. Malcolm was charged with burglary and sent to prison for a maximum of eight years of which he served six.
This was a turning point in Malcolm's life. While in prison, Malcolm educated himself and became interested in the
teachings of Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm spent his time in jail educating himself and learning more about the
Nation of Islam (later known as the Black Muslims). Their belief, which was contrary to Martin Luther King Jr.'s,
mainly to was to segregated whites and blacks. The Nation of Islam wanted to establish a separate Afro-American
homeland in the U.S. and believed that the white person is "the Devil" who wanted to enslave all non-whites. The
Nation of Islam also strictly followed the Islamic belief.
When Malcolm was released from prison after in 1952, he joined a temple in Detroit, and took the name Malcolm X.
He took the name X because his present last name was the last name of the slave master who freed their slave and
since the slave didn't know who their ancestors were, and therefore didn't know their real last name, they often took
up the last name of their master. Many Muslims kept the name "X" because in math, "X" is represented as an
unknown variable like their real last name.
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African-American Muslims, English-language films, Nation of Islam, Malcolm X, Racism in the United States, Antisemitism in the United States, Elijah Muhammad, Black nationalism, Malcolm, African-American Civil Rights Movement, Seven Songs for Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X
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