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Malcom x - Essay Example

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At 20 he was convicted of burglary and sentenced to prison where he remained until he was 27. While there, he tried to educate himself. He also “learned about and joined the Nation of Islam, studying the teachings…
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Running head: MALCOLM X Malcolm X Educational MALCOLM X 2 Malcolm X Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 19, 1925, to Rev. Earl and Louise Little. When Malcolm was six, his father was murdered by white racists. At 15 he
dropped out of school and learned the ways of the streets. At 20 he was convicted of burglary and sentenced to prison where he remained until he was 27. While there, he tried to educate himself. He also “learned about and joined the Nation of Islam, studying the teachings of Elijah Muhammad fully” (Malcolm X – An Islamic Perspective). Upon leaving prison, he went to Detroit where he dedicated himself to Islam, engaging in the sect’s daily activities and receiving instructions from Elijah Muhammad himself. Malcolm’s commitment helped build the organization and made him an international figure. “He was interviewed on major television programs and by magazines, and spoke across the country at various universities and other forums. His power was in his words, which so vividly described the plight of blacks and incriminated whites” (ibid.). The racism of the Nation of Islam prevented Malcolm from accepting any help from whites as sincere and capable. Therefore, Malcolm X kept on preaching for 12 years that “the white man was the devil and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was God’s Messenger (ibid.). Although unfortunate—but important—“most images of Malcolm today focus on this period of his life, although the transformation he was about to undergo would give him a completely different, and more important, message for the American people” (ibid.). Due to internal jealousy and the discovery of Elijah Muhammad’s sexual immorality, Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam on March 12, 1964. During his reflections prior to his leaving, Malcolm X met Dr. Mahmoud Youssef Shawarbi who, upon parting said something very significant to
MALCOLM X 3
Malcolm X (as well as to this student); namely, “No man has believed perfectly until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself” (ibid.).
Malcolm X – an Islamic Perspective has organized all events of any consequence in Malcolm X’s life in chronological order, taking the reader through his 12 years of preaching while with the Nation of Islam to his pilgrimage of Mecca where he began to reappraise the white man and to conclude that “America needs to understand Islam because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem” (ibid.). Consequently, Malcolm saw a new vision for America and began writing letters to his loyal assistants asking to have them duplicated and sent to the press. They contained the message of the “Oneness of man under one God” (ibid.). Malcolm said that he now knew that generalizations against white people is as wrong as generalizations against blacks. This new universalistic view was, however, too dangerous to last. El-Hajj Malik knew that he was the target of many groups, but, nevertheless, was not afraid to say what he had to say. Then, on February 21, 1965, while preparing to speak at a New York hotel, he was shot by three black men. It is said that the Nation of Islam had something to do with it, the FBI has also been suggested as an accomplice. Thomas Hagan, 69, the only man who confessed to his role in the assassination and who had been on a work release program since March 1992, was officially paroled on April 26, 2010 (CNN Justice).
The BBC announcement of Malcolm X’s assassination uses fairly strong language in labelling him as a controversial black leader who called for a blacks only state. Only a week before his assassination, Malcolm X’s home was firebombed. This reader finds the writing of Malcolm X – An Islamic Perspective lets the reader get to know Malcolm X and, as a result to better understand what led to this man of history’s assassination.
MALCOLM X 4
References
BBC. (1965, February 21, 2012). 1965: Black nationalist leader shot dead. Retrieved on
February 07, 2012, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/he/dates/stories/february21/
newsid_27.
CNN Justice. (2010, April 26). Parole Board: Malcolm X killer freed after 44 years. Retrieved
On February 07, 2012, from http://articles.cnn.com/2010-04-26/justice/malcolmx.killer_1
_thomas-has.
Malcolm X – An Islamic Perspective. Adapted from the pamphlet Malcolm X: Why I embraced
Islam by Yusuf Siddiqui. Retrieved on February 07, 2012, from http://www.colostate.
Edu/orgs/MSA/find_more/m_x.html. Read More
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