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Malcolm X and His Influence on The Civil Rights Movement

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Words: 934 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Words: 934|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Early Life
  2. Nation of Islam
  3. Ideology and Approach
  4. Hajj and Transformation
  5. Legacy and Impact
  6. Conclusion
  7. References

Malcolm X was a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States during the 1950s and 60s. Known for his controversial views on race and self-defense, Malcolm X was a significant voice in the Nation of Islam until his departure, and his transformation after his Hajj to Mecca led him to adopt a more inclusive approach to activism. Despite his short autobiography, Malcolm X has left a lasting impact on the civil rights movement in the United States.

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Early Life

Malcolm Little, as Malcolm X was known before his conversion to Islam, was born on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska. His family moved frequently during his childhood to escape racist attacks from white supremacists. Malcolm's father, Earl Little, was an outspoken Baptist minister and civil rights activist, and his mother, Louise Norton Little, was a homemaker who taught her children about black pride.

Malcolm's family life was troubled, and his father's activism made him a target for white supremacists. Tragically, Earl Little was killed by members of the Black Legion in 1931, forcing Malcolm's mother to raise their eight children alone. Malcolm's early experiences with racism and discrimination had a profound impact on his later life and activism.

In his teenage years, Malcolm moved to Boston to live with his half-sister, Ella, and became involved in criminal activities, leading to his arrest and imprisonment in 1946 for burglary. It was during his time in prison that Malcolm began to read extensively and discovered Islam. After his release in 1952, he became involved in the Nation of Islam, a Muslim organization that preached black separatism and self-defense.

Nation of Islam

Malcolm's connection with the Nation of Islam led to a significant shift in his life and activism. He became a close ally of the organization's leader, Elijah Muhammad, and rose to become a prominent speaker and leader within the organization. Malcolm's speeches drew attention to the plight of African Americans in the United States and inspired many to join the Nation of Islam and work towards racial equality.

Malcolm's views on race and politics had a significant impact on the Nation of Islam. He argued that the white man was the "devil" and that black Americans should take control of their own destiny and establish their own country separate from white America. Malcolm's advocacy for self-defense and armed resistance was controversial but spoke to the frustrations of many African Americans who had grown tired of the non-violent approach of other civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.

Ideology and Approach

Malcolm X's controversial views on race and self-defense sparked debate and criticism from within the civil rights movement. Many leaders saw his approach as too militant and divisive, and his relation with the Nation of Islam was fractious. Malcolm's speeches and writings, however, had a significant impact on African Americans who were looking for a more aggressive approach to racial equality.

In his famous "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech, Malcolm argued that African Americans should use any means necessary to fight for their rights, urged them to unite against a common enemy, and criticized the government's inaction towards racial inequality. His call for Black Power was controversial but had a significant impact on the civil rights movement's direction.

Hajj and Transformation

Malcolm's transformation began after his Hajj to Mecca in 1964. The trip exposed him to diverse cultures, and he developed a more inclusive approach to activism. He abandoned his separatist views and called for racial integration. Malcolm's transformation resulted in a fracture with the Nation of Islam and an internal struggle to define his new position on civil rights issues.

Malcolm's new approach was evident in his 'Message to the Grassroots" speech, where he moved away from his previous views on separatism and self-defense and called for all oppressed people to unite against their common oppressor, regardless of race. Malcolm's changing views on race and integration spoke to many, and his impact on the movement's direction was evident.

Legacy and Impact

Malcolm's life was tragically cut short when he was assassinated on February 21, 1965, in New York City. However, his legacy has lived on and continues to shape the civil rights movement's direction today. Malcolm's radical views continue to inspire activists who believe that non-violent resistance is not enough to combat systemic racism and oppression.

Malcolm X's writings and speeches remain popular and have had a significant impact on future generations of activists and leaders. His message of self-reliance, self-empowerment, and anti-oppression has resonated with marginalized communities globally. Malcolm is also remembered for his unflinching criticism of the inequalities and injustices in the American political system and the civil rights movement's direction.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, Malcolm X was a prominent and influential figure in the Civil Rights Movement, and his radical views and approach have left a lasting impression. His advocacy for self-defense and armed resistance was controversial but spoke to the frustrations of many African Americans, and his transformation after his Hajj to Mecca led him to adopt a more inclusive approach to activism. Malcolm's impact on the civil rights movement's direction continues to shape the struggle for racial equality in the United States.

References

  1. "Malcolm X", Biography, The Biography.com website, retrieved 28 October 2021, https://www.biography.com/activist/malcolm-x
  2. "Nation of Islam", Britannica, The Britannica.com website, retrieved 28 October 2021, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Nation-of-Islam
  3. "Malcolm X", History, The History.com website, retrieved 28 October 2021, https://www.history.com/topics/civil-rights-movement/malcolm-x
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Malcolm X and His Influence on the Civil Rights Movement. (2024, January 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/malcolm-x-and-his-influence-on-the-civil-rights-movement/
“Malcolm X and His Influence on the Civil Rights Movement.” GradesFixer, 29 Jan. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/malcolm-x-and-his-influence-on-the-civil-rights-movement/
Malcolm X and His Influence on the Civil Rights Movement. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/malcolm-x-and-his-influence-on-the-civil-rights-movement/> [Accessed 13 Jul. 2024].
Malcolm X and His Influence on the Civil Rights Movement [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 29 [cited 2024 Jul 13]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/malcolm-x-and-his-influence-on-the-civil-rights-movement/
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