Malcolm XAll men are created equal. This statement was the basis of the civilright movements of the 1960’s. Malcom X is a man that promoted a society inwhich all human beings were equally respected. He believes that blacks shouldachieve that goal by any means necessary. In a time when blacks were not allowedto sit in the front of the bus, using the same bathroom, or were not admitted toUniversities. Malcom X’s cry of justice was believed to be the voice of allblacks behind closed doors. Malcom Little grew up as poor and did not have muchparental support. His father was run over by a street car when he was six. Soonafter his father’s death, his mother was put in a mental hospital. He grew up inEast Lansing and Boston. He was a pimp, a hustler, drug user, and a drug dealer.
He worked in the Harlem underworld and was almost killed by his boss after hebetrayed him. Malcom turned to robbery and was caught by the police andsentenced to 10 years of hard labor. While in jail, he was introduced to theNation of Islam, a Black Muslim group, and changed his name to Malcom X. The Xreplaced the slave name that was given by the white masters and stands for thehis real name that he never knew. After his release from prison he startedpreaching for the Nation of Islam (NOI). His preaching was known for its hatredovertone. He describes America as a house with a “bomb” inside and itis about to explode. Unless the white people want the house to explode and killeveryone inside, they should take the bomb out and give it a house of their own.
His speeches were very popular among angry blacks and he was frequently on thefront page of the newspaper. It was rumored that other Nation of Islam memberswere jealous about his popularity and worried about the power he was gaining.
After the JFK assassination, Malcom stated: “President Kennedy neverforesaw that the chickens would come home to roost so soon… Being an old farmboy myself, chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they alwaysmade me glad.” After many death calls from irritated Whites, The Nation ofIslam started to distance themselves from Malcom. There was already frictionbetween The Nation of Islam and they did not want the Nation of Islam to get abad name because of Malcom. Feeling pressure to leave and felt betrayed by hischurch, he started the Organization of Afro-American Unity. They had thecommitment to “doing whatever is necessary to bring the Negro struggle fromthe level of civil rights to the level of human rights.” While making aspeech in the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem on Feb 21, 1965 he was assassinated by3 persons all belonging to the NOI. Whether you like him or not, Malcom X wascharismatic leader that said the many things that had to be said in the midst ofthe civil rights movement. “By any means necessary! I’m for freedom. I’mfor a society in which our people are recognized and respected as human beings,and I believe that we have the right to resort to any means necessary to bringthat about.” -Malcom X, interview with Claude Lewis (December 1964) Thisstatement and others helped propel the recognition of prejudice in the heart ofAmerica. Whenever I research into a past leader I always feel a great sadnessthat a great mind has perished with the person. But in this one case, there is asmall sense of relief. Violence bleeds violence. 3 men whom he has preachedgunned down a man that has preached violence to advance his cause. They stoodover his body and emptied their guns. I hope all people can learn from this andmove forward together as a nation in peace.