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Autobiography of Malcolm X - Essay Example

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Malcolm X was born, Malcom Little to Earl Little and Louise Helen Norton. His father was an outspoken Baptist lay preacher and supporter of Marcus Garvey. Malcom described his father as a big black man who had lost one eye. …
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Autobiography of Malcolm X

Download file to see previous pages... Malcolm X was born, Malcom Little to Earl Little and Louise Helen Norton. His father was an outspoken Baptist lay preacher and supporter of Marcus Garvey. Malcom described his father as a big black man who had lost one eye. According to Malcom, three of Earl Little’s brothers died violently at the hands of white men, and one of his Uncles had been lynched. Malcom’s life was one of hardships, and disappointments, (Malcom graduated from junior high school at the top of his class, but dropped out soon after an admired teacher told him that his aspirations of being a lawyer was not a realistic goal for a nigger) He had many misadventures and skirmishes with the American legal system. On January 12, 1946 shortly after his return to Boston, he was arrested for burglary after trying to steal back a stolen watch he had left for repairs at a jewelry shop. Two days later, Malcom was indicted once again for carrying firearms. On January 16th, Malcom was charged with Grand Larceny and Breaking and Entering. Malcom was sentenced to eight to ten years in Massachusetts State Prison. It was while he was serving time for Burglary, when Malcom began to study the teachings of the honorable Elijah Mohammed, the leader of the Nation of Islam. The “Black Muslim” doctrine as espoused by Elijah Mohammed placed a premium on Black unity; Mohammed
emphasized how critically important it was for all black people to unite under the nation to improve their position in life. ...
from serving his prison term, Malcom joined the nation of Islam and adopted the name

Malcolm X. Malcom explained the name by saying the "X" is meant to symbolize the

rejection of "slave names" and the absence of an inherited African name to take its place.

The "X" is also the brand that many slaves received on their upper arm. This rationale led

many members of the Nation of Islam to change their surnames to X.

The press treated Malcolm X with disdain and labeled him a troublemaker. Due to

the media coverage and his unwitting and tenacious will to call them as he saw them, he

became persona non grata to some, hated by others (blacks and whites) and distrusted by

those who had no idea of a black man's plight in America. Yet, he was heralded by many

as a champion of civil rights which went beyond constructive engagement.

In 1953 Malcom went to live with Elijah Mohammed in Chicago. He soon returned

to Boston and became the minister of the Nation of Islam Temple number eleven. In

1954, Malcom was selected to lead the Nation of Islam mosque #7 on Lenox Avenue in

Harlem, and he rapidly expanded its membership. Malcom was a compelling public

speaker, and he became known to a wider audience after a local television broadcast in

New York City about the Nation of Islam, which was not very well known at the time.

Malcom was aware that his fame was a cause of much envy in the nation, and he

became careful in his public appearances not to irritate them. Malcom was soon seen as

the second most influential leader after Elijah Mohammed himself. He opened additional

Temples, including one in Philadelphia, and was largely credited with increasing the

Nation of Islam membership from 500 in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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