Malcolm X Essay

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MALCOLM X

"Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery."(Moncur 1) This is a quote said by Malcolm X, and this is typical of how he approached everything. Malcolm X was a civil rights activist in the 1950s and 60s who fought against racism. Malcolm first thought that whites caused all the suffering for the blacks, so they should just stay separate, but it wasn't until later in his career that his views changes and realized violence wouldn't solve his problems. Malcolm X is remembered today for preaching his beliefs, encouraging the end of racism, and being a great influence on the civil rights movement. Malcolm Little was born May 19, 1925 to Earl and
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Malcolm was a troubled teen, but it wasn't until he was arrested for robbery when he was 21 and sentenced to ten years in prison that his life began to change (Encyclopedia 1). While in prison, Malcolm remembered his old dreams in school. He decided to get an education, and reading became his favorite past time (Myers 11). Also, during the time he served he converted to the Black Muslim faith- The Nation of Islam. Malcolm became very interested in and studied the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, the leader. Muhammad taught that white society actively worked to keep blacks from empowering themselves and achieving political, economic and social success. Among other goals, the Nation of Islam fought for a state of their own, separate from one lived in by whites (Haberman 1). It was when Malcolm was paroled in 1952 that he changed his last name to "X" because he considered "Little" to be a slave name and started preaching of his new found beliefs (Haberman 1). Malcolm was a very bright and articulate speaker, so he was appointed as a minister and national spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Elijah Muhammad also gave him the task of establishing new mosques in cities such as Detroit, Michigan and Harlem. Malcolm used newspaper columns, as well as radio and television, to spread the Nation of Islam's message across

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