Malcolm X, born as Malcolm Little was one of the most prestigious black leaders that progressed the movement of the nation of Islam. He was born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska his father was a Baptist preacher and his mother was a homemaker. Malcolm X was very determined in creating a society where African Americans where treated equally, and through his Islamic teachings and dedication to expanding Islam lead the way to make this possible.
When I think of Malcolm X I think of a positive leaders that begin the journey of African Americans to equal treatment. Even though Malcolm X had plenty of obstacles in his life, he overcame them with great faith in his Islamic teachings. In 1929 his home in Lansing, Michigan was burnt down, and in 1931 Malcolms father Earl was killed in a car accident. After this incident Malcolm mother couldn’t bear the strain of raising four children on her own so she was committed to a state mental hospital. Malcolm spent most of his teenage years in a juvenile home until his half-sister Ella Collins allowed him to move with her in Boston. Malcolm was involved in a life of crime until his arrest in the early 1946 when he was charged with grand larceny.” Although Malcolm’s white female gang members received at most seven months in prison, Malcolm was sentenced to eight to 10 years” ( Daniels, Web ). While in prison Malcolm begin to study the teachings of another inmate of the name of “Bimbi” where he learned his knowledge about the Nation of Islam and that the leader was also in prison by the name of Elijah Muhammad. In 1952 Malcolm joined the Nation of Islam, and adopted the name “Malcolm X” representing that his ancestors original African name was unknown. Malcolm realized that the nation of Islam wasn’t expanded enough, and his dream was to create a more worldwide study of Islam that could change the world. After his release and joining the Nation of Islam that presently only had four temples and 400 members. “ Blessed with considerable charisma and enormous energy ( he typically slept only four hours a night), Malcolm set out to bring the Nation of Islam’s teachings to black Americans”( Daniels, Web ). I believed Malcolm X was a positive leader because after starting out with a life of crime. Malcolm realized that the only was to progress in this life were by teaching African Americans the way to succeed to be great leaders and followers of the Islamic Culture. I think his prison experience put a mark on his life that made him fight to bring African Americans to justice, because of the fact the white female gang members received less amount of imprisonment that he did for the same crime. Malcolm started his journey by traveling up and down the East Coast increasing new membership and soon thereafter became the leader of the Nation of Islams chief temple in Harlem. Malcolm expanded the Nation of Islam to 49 temples, and possessed of tons of thousands of members. I think that Malcolm X showed that African Americans can be a positive role model in life and that with the mindset we are able to accomplish anything. Malcolm preached of police brutality in Harlem and Los Angeles, and these preaching gave Malcolm a national profile. Today, the evidence of police brutality on African Americans are still present in some cities and towns. Even though the brutalities might not be physical but if you stayed in the town of Robbins where I reside you could see certain events and racial slurs that would convince you that it still exist. If you are an African American and you are riding around town dressed nicely or just say you were out riding late at night come from you girlfriends house. Cops would often stop you and question what you are doing out this late at night and where you are coming from. Cops assume that most African Americans are drug dealers or doing something that wrong and in most cases this unethical and would be considered as a police brutality in my eyes.
In 1958 Malcolm married Betty X and they soon after that began a family. They went on several trips to the Middle East and Africa and also a pilgrimage to Mecca. “While he continued to denounce racism in America, Malcolms eyes were opened to the possibility of unity with white Muslims he met overseas. At the same time, rifts had opened between him and Elijah Muhammad, whose repeated adulteries had disillusioned Malcolm” (Daniels, Web ). Malcolm X preached of personal pride and economic self- reliance and this trait was very popular with many African Americans. Although there were only a few people at this time that would stand up and fight for the justice of African Americans, Malcolm X was one of these people and through his teachings he made it possible to focus on the cruelty and unfair treatment that blacks received at the time. Although Malcolm X was a positive role- model for blacks and was very enthusiastic about furthering the recognition of African Americans there were also some people that viewed Malcolm X as negative. These views come about because some people feel that some techniques and views Malcolm X portrayed were somewhat bias. To prove this idea I interviewed an African American and then I interview a Caucasian and basically asked the same questions to both of them. The African American viewed Malcolm X as a leader and one of the most prestigious leaders of the fight for equal rights. Janine said,” Malcolm X was a man that started from the bottom and became a very know civil rights leader and one of the first men to preach against the abuse endeavored by whites”( Janine, Interview ). This statement generally exemplifies the view of Malcolm X to most African Americans and how they feel Malcolm X is a positive influence on the Civil Rights Movement. Then I interviewed a Caucasian Male and he said, “ Malcolm X was a positive role model to the event of the Civil Rights Movement, but he also generally ran a clan somewhat similar to the Ku Klux Klan except for they where African Americans and at that time most Whites hated Malcolm X; but looking back on the events and his effect on movement of the Civil Rights he was a major impact on African Americans fight for Civil Rights”( Williams, Interview). As you can see many people basically depending on race and in what time period you were born will play a major role on your view of Malcolm X.
Malcolm became the Nation of Islams prodiminent speaker and made a comment in 1963 that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was like “the chickens coming home to roost” ( Daniels, Web ). The following year Malcolm disclaimed the Nation of Islam and formed a black nationalist group, the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). Malcolm had some views that all whites are evil and this was one of the main reason that most whites viewed Malcolm X negatively even though he lead African Americans to the production of equal rights. Malcolm X numerous trips across the country but after viewing the Continenets of Africa and Europe he changed his view of white people that all were evil. On February 21, 1965 while in New York City, Malcolm X was assassinated by some men supposedly connected with Muslims.
Although most people view Malcolm X as a positive Historian some people view him negatively because they didn’t agree with some of his teachings. I feel that Malcolm X had a huge effect on the Civil Rights Movement and without his teachings African Americans wouldn’t have made it to the position they hold today in society. Malcolm X went through many trials and tribulation to make his teachings know even being incarcerated for years, but all these mishappens lead him to become the major Civil Rights leader that I view him as today.