Read more about the Nation of Islam. Early years and conversion Born in Nebraska, while an infant Malcolm moved with his family to LansingMichigan. When Malcolm was six years old, his father, the Rev.
He was born in into a society wherein he felt that black people had no personhood: But Malcolm grew up in a household where the words of black nationalist Marcus Garvey were gospel, and he wandered the streets of a New York where jazz gave African-Americans their own language and identity.
He father was killed in mysterious circumstances, his mother went insane. There he was picked up by the Nation of Islam. Malcolm Little became Malcolm X. The Nation has a reputation for hate. It teaches that black and white people do not share an ancestry — that black people are divine and righteous whereas white people are devils.
First, it inverted a centuries old prejudice that blackness was inferior to whiteness — a notion ridiculed by the obvious injustice of American society. Second, if white, mainstream American culture would not let black people succeed on equal terms then any claim to America being racially equal was a nonsense and blacks would never obtain their rightful equality within it.
So why bother trying? Better to separate from white and try to build communities that would stand on their own. The Nation urged African-Americans to quit the mainstream, live clean and disciplined lives, and to obtain dignity through self-reliance.
Violence was acceptable only in self-defence. Liberals had little time for him, too. In the s and early s, the civil rights model was perceived to be that of whites and blacks working together as part of an alliance towards the securing of constitutional rights.
The goal was to integrate black people into those parts of American life from which they had been hitherto excluded: Partly, his biography became better understood. InMalcolm began to split with the Nation in an argument over personalities and tactics — and in the few months that he still had to live there was a revolution in his politics.
He went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and was struck by the racial harmony among Muslims: They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans.
But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white.
But it helped transform Malcolm from a black leader who preached separation into a proponent of the hope that African-Americans could advance as part of a broader coalition with oppressed people — something closer to a socialist.
How would he have reacted to growing violence and urban riots - could he had articulated their purpose better? Would he have made his peace with the system and endorsed Robert Kennedy for president in ?
For it was moving, necessarily, away from the liberal ideal of biracial campaigning and towards assertion of black pride. Blacks had defeated de jure segregation but now needed to fight de facto segregation. That struggle declined at points into an impotent rage that was all too easily dismissed by resurgent conservative forces as Marxist criminality.
It would have benefited enormously from having Malcolm at the barricades with it, providing some moral clarity. A man rushed forward and shot him in the chest with a sawn off shotgun; two other men fired at him with semi-automatic handguns. He died from his wounds in hospital.
Inevitably, there are conspiracy stories surrounding the murder. Instead, there were no policemen posted outside the building and only two inside. And the investigation into the killing was botched: That latter point is certainly true. Time was quite accurate when it described him as "a pimp, a cocaine addict and a thief".
But his evolution in to the embodiment of black pride reminds us that the struggle for personal moral uplift has always been at the heart of the civil rights movement.The forum challenged common perceptions — in and beyond the Muslim community — of Malcolm’s contentious legacy by offering a glimpse of the activist’s lesser known years as a devoted Muslim.
Create a FREE account now to: Create a FREE account and get immediate access to. Customize your teaching materials in less time with Course Hero’s growing library of more than 10,, lesson plans, study guides, and more. On April 13, , Malcolm X left the United States on a personal and spiritual journey through the Middle East and West Africa.
By the time he returned on May 21, he’d visited Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, and Algeria. Malcolm started to learn about the rules and the prayers of a Muslim and was starting to practice “real Islam.” At the same time, Malcolm started speaking out against Elijah Muhammad.
This drew a lot of anger and criticism from followers of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 19, ; he dropped the "slave name" Little and adopted the initial X (representing an unknown) when he .
Background Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam.
On March 8, , Malcolm X announced his separation from the Nation of Islam, a black nationalist religious organization for which he had been the spokesman for nearly a decade. The Nation of Islam, which advocated on behalf of African Americans, had significant disagreements with the Civil Rights Movement.