Malcolm X

Malcolm X, a civil rights leader in the 1960's believed that blacks and whites should be segregated. He also believed

that white man was evil and were trying to brainwash all blacks and that Martin Luther King's "non-violent protests"

weren't working and that violence was needed for change.

Malcolm X's life was a life with a lot of conflict and violence in it. Malcolm X was born under the name of Malcolm

Little in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925. His father was a baptist minister and an outspoken follower of Marcus Garvey,

the black nationalist leader of the 1920s who preached that all blacks should leave the US and go back to Africa.

While Malcolm's father was away and Malcolm's mother was pregnant with Malcolm, a group of KKK members

came to their house and told Mrs. Little to send out her husband. She came out of the house and stood where all the

KKK could see that she was pregnant and told them that Mr. Little was in Milwaukee preaching. The KKK,

disappointed, shouted threats and told them to leave town. After this they broke every window in the Little's home

and left. When Mr. Little came home and heard what happened, he decided to move as soon a Malcolm was born to

Lansing, Michigan. Here was where Malcolm's father died at the hand of the Black Legion (X 4-!

13). After Malcolm's father's death, his mother who had to take care of eight children and endure threats from the

KKK, suffered a nervous breakdown. As a result, Malcolm and his siblings were taken by the welfare department.

Malcolm was later enrolled in a reform school and did very well grade wise. He was the best student in his class and

wanted to become a lawyer. When the school heads heard about this, they sent a person to talk to Malcolm. This

person told and convinced Malcolm that he was black and that he could never become a lawyer because of it. As a

result, he dropped out of after the eighth grade and moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he worked several

different jobs. Soon, Malcolm became associated in a gang and sold and used drugs, and was involved in many other

criminal activities. His gang "career" ended when he got into some trouble due to a bet with the gang leader. Since

the gang wanted Malcolm killed, Malcolm hid for a while. Soon, Malcolm decid!

ed to rob a house which he heard had a lot of valuables in it. Soon one night, he robbed the house, but was caught

later. Malcolm was charged with burglary and sent to prison for a maximum of eight years of which he served six.

This was a turning point in Malcolm's life. While in prison, Malcolm educated himself and became interested in the

teachings of Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm spent his time in jail educating himself and learning more about the

Nation of Islam (later known as the Black Muslims). Their belief, which was contrary to Martin Luther King Jr.'s,

mainly to was to segregated whites and blacks. The Nation of Islam wanted to establish a separate Afro-American

homeland in the U.S. and believed that the white person is "the Devil" who wanted to enslave all non-whites. The

Nation of Islam also strictly followed the Islamic belief.

When Malcolm was released from prison after in 1952, he joined a temple in Detroit, and took the name Malcolm X.

He took the name X because his present last name was the last name of the slave master who freed their slave and

since the slave didn't know who their ancestors were, and therefore didn't know their real last name, they often took

up the last name of their master. Many Muslims kept the name "X" because in math, "X" is represented as an

unknown variable like their real last name. A person was to keep the name "X" until God himself gave them a "holy

name"(Encarta 2).

Soon after his release from jail, Malcolm worked for his oldest brother who managed a furniture store. While

working, he also gave many speeches, and went "fishing"(fishing is when someone stands out on a sidewalk and

hand out brochures and explained about their ideas of the Nation of Islam.) for new members for the Nation of

Islam. He did this until he became an official spokesperson for them. After